King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden unofficially began their official visit to Japan on Sunday. The tour officially starts today when Their Majesties are received by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
The King and Queen were invited by the Japanese government in celebration of 150 years of relations between Japan and Sweden. Ann Linde, Minister for European Union Affairs and Trade, and Ibrahim Baylan, Minister for Energy, accompanied King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.
However, before their official welcome by Their Imperial Majesties today, Sweden’s King and Queen visited the Swedish Embassy for a celebration of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan’s farm for the Swedish Colony and Japanese Swedes in honour of the anniversary. King Carl XVI Gustaf spoke to the 700 attendees.
The King later met members of the SWEA (Swedish Women’s Educational Association) and Swedish Alumni Network. Next, Their Majesties met with Swedish representatives of eight companies that had exhibits in the Swedish Embassy’s exhibition hall.
Carl Gustaf and Silvia also had the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (MOMAT) where they were able to get insight into Japanese modern art history; the museum contains art from the Meiji period from 1868 and beyond. Museum Director Hiroshi Kamiyo welcomed the trio before they were given a guided tour, alongside Linde, of the exhibit “MOMAT Collection” and the temporary exhibition “The 150th Anniversary of His Birth: Yokoyama Taikan.”
MOMAT contains one of the largest modern art collections in Japan with 13,000 pieces.
Today, Their Majesties will meet the Emperor and Empress of Japan at the Imperial Palace to begin their three-day visit. They will also meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife who will later host dinner for the couple.
Crown Princess Victoria is regent in her father’s absence.