H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf paid an unofficial visit to Japan from March 16 to 27, 1990. The King arrived in Sapporo on March 16, accompanied by the Royal Swedish Industry and Technology Mission to Japan 1990, which was composed of leading representatives from the Swedish industry, government and scientific communities. One of the highlights of his Japan visit was attendance at the 10th International Asahikawa Vasa Ski Competition in Hokkaido on March 21. On March 24, President Hattori organized a dinner in honour of H.M. the King at the Club Kanto in Tokyo with the attendance of representatives of the companies which his mission visited during their stay in Tokyo from March 21 to 25.
T.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia paid an official visit to Japan to attend the enthronement ceremony of the Emperor on November 12, 1990. President Hattori was granted the honor of presenting a gift from the Society to the King and Queen through the courteous arrangements of H.E. Mr. Ove F. Heyman.
Mr. Taro Gadelius, Honorary Member of the Society, celebrated his 77th birthday in August 1990 and in addition, he was graciously decorated with the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, by the Japanese Government as of November 3, 1990. In order to commemorate his two joyous occasions, the Society held a dinner party on November 26, 1990, at the Hotel Okura, with the auspicious attendance of T.I.H. Prince and Princess Hitachi.
Following speeches made by President Hattori and H.E. Ambassador Heyman, Mrs. Heyman presented a gift from the Society to Mr. Taro Gadelius. Mr. Gadelius made a return speech in which he expressed his gratitude to all the attendees. A buffet party began with a toast by Mr. Göran Holmquist, Vice President of the Society, and more than one hundred members and guests celebrated Mr. Gadelius.
President Hattori was presented with the Commander First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star on February 7, 1991, at the residence of the Swedish Ambassador. The award was given in recognition of President Hattori’s contribution to the promotion of cultural exchange and friendship between Sweden and Japan and was presented by H.E. Mr. Ove F. Heyman. On February 14, President and Mrs. Hattori had the honor of being invited by T.M. the King and Queen of Sweden, to an official dinner at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.
H.E. Mr. Ingvar Carlsson, Prime Minister of Sweden, paid a one-week official visit to Tokyo from March 16 to 22, 1991, accompanied by a delegation of prominent Swedish government officials.
On March 18, President Hattori organized a luncheon in honour of H.E. the Prime Minister at the Hotel Okura. Luncheon guests included H.E. Mr. Ove F. Heyman, H.E. Mr. Yasushi Murazumi, the Japanese Ambassador to Sweden, and some highly influential business leaders of Japanese industry. President Hattori had the honour of presenting a gift from the Society to the Prime Minister.
The inauguration ceremony for the new Swedish Embassy building in Tokyo was held with the attendance of Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson on March 19, 1991, at the new Embassy. President Hattori and other prominent members of the Japan-Sweden Society attended this ceremony.
The Society held a cocktail party to commemorate the opening of the new Embassy building in Tokyo on March 26, 1991, through the courtesy of H.E. Mr. Ove F. Heyman. Among the 150 guests were T.I.H. Prince and Princess Hitachi, H.E. the Swedish Ambassador and Mrs. Heyman and Mr. Mats Hulth, Mayor of the City of Stockholm, as well as other members of the delegation from the City of Stockholm visiting Japan from March 25 to 28. To congratulate the completion of the new Embassy building, the Society presented a custom built clock to be installed in the Embassy auditorium.
The Society held a farewell reception in honour of H.E. Ambassador and Mrs. Ove F. Heyman on December 17, 1991, at the Hotel Okura, with the auspicious attendance of T.I.H. Prince and Princess Hitachi. Ambassador Heyman commenced his assignment in October 1986, serving in Japan as the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden for more than five years. A buffet party began with a toast proposed by Former President Matsui as one hundred and thirty members and their guests continued to enjoy this most pleasant winter evening.
H.E. Ambassador Magnus Vahlquist arrived in Tokyo in February 1992 to succeed H.E. Mr. Ove F. Heyman and presented his Credentials on March 30, 1992. The Society held a welcome reception in honour of H.E. Ambassador and Mrs. Vahlquist on June 30, 1992, at the Palace Hotel.
H.E. Mr. Ulf Dinkelspiel, Swedish Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, visited Japan in February 1992. During his five-day stay, Minister Dinkelspiel had a busy schedule meeting Japanese business executives. President Hattori, Director Yamashita and Director Kawarabayashi had a discussion with him at the Hotel Okura on February 22.
H.E. Mr. Per Westerberg, Swedish Minister of Industry and Commerce, paid a two-day visit to Tokyo in June 1992. President Hattori had the opportunity to exchange views with Minister Westerberg at the dinner hosted by H.E. Ambassador Vahlquist on June 12.
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (SCCJ) was officially inaugurated to promote the development of commerce between Japan and Sweden in September 1992. The first General Meeting was held on September 17 at the Royal Swedish Embassy, followed by a buffet party. Many members of the Society were invited to the party and congratulated on the establishment of a new Swedish-Japanese organisation. On behalf of the Society, President Hattori delivered a congratulatory speech. Mr. Nils Hornmark served as the first SCCJ President.
The European Institute of Japanese Studies (EIJS) at the Stockholm School of Economics was established in September 1992, to be a major centre of excellence in research and education on the Japanese economy and business, and its impact on the world economy, particularly in regard to Euro-Japanese relations.
An inauguration ceremony was held at the Stockholm School of Economics on September 25. It was inaugurated by H.R.H. Prince Bertil, with a speech given by Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, with a message from Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa conveyed by H.E. the Japanese Ambassador, Mr. Naohiro Kumagai, in the presence of leading Japanese and Swedish government officials, businessmen and academics, including President Hattori, Director Hornmark, Director Ishii, Director Yamashita and members of the Society. The EIJS has been created on the basis of an endowment from Japanese corporations and individuals including the Society’s members, and from the Swedish government and private corporations. Professor Staffan Burenstam Linder, President of the Stockholm School of Economics and a former Swedish Minister for Foreign Trade served as Chairman of the Board of the EIJS, and Professor Jean-Pierre Lehmann served as its first Director. President Hattori and Director Yamashita were among the members of the EIJS’s Advisory Board.
On the occasion of the inauguration of the EIJS, President Hattori, Director Ishii, Director Yamashita and Mr. Yotaro Kobayashi, Member of the Society, were given an audience by H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf on September 24. H.M. the King expressed his appreciation for the Japanese cooperation and interest in the establishment of the EIJS.
President Hattori was awarded the Honorary Doctorate from the Stockholm School of Economics on September 25, 1992, in recognition of his meritorious contribution to fundraising for the European Institute of Japanese Studies. The doctoral award ceremony which is held every two years was presided in a very scholarly and solemn atmosphere with the gracious attendance of Princess Christina and more than two hundred Swedish and Japanese dignitaries.
President Hattori and Director Ishii were invited to the reception of the Sweden-Japan Society on September 23, 1992. Mr. Nils Aström, Chairman of the Society, introduced President Hattori to more than one hundred members and their guests, including our Society’s former Honorary President Ove Heyman, former Vice President Göran Holmquist and Honorary Member Taro Gadelius.
H.E. Mr. Carl Bildt, Prime Minister of Sweden, paid a six-day official visit to Tokyo from April 8 to 13, 1993, to attend the International Democrat Union Conference. H.E. Mr. Bo Lundgrean, Minister for Fiscal and Financial Affairs, Baroness Margaretha af Ugglas, Swedish Foreign Minister, Mr. Bengt Dennis, Governor of Bank of Sweden, and many other Swedish dignitaries visited Tokyo in the spring of 1993.
Princess Christina Mrs. Magnuson and Mr. Tord Magnuson, accompanied by several executive members of the Sweden- Japan Society, visited Tokyo in October 1993. 21 years had passed since Princess Christina’s last visit to Tokyo in 1971. On October 7, the Society held a welcoming dinner party in her honour at the Hotel Okura with the gracious attendance of T.I.H. Prince and Princess Hitachi. Among the 116 party guests were, H.E. Ambassador and Mrs. Magnus Vahlquist, Ambassador Andreas Van Agt, Professor and Mrs. Gunnar Hambraeus, Ambassador and Mrs. Gunnar Lonaeus, and chairman Nils Aström and officers of the Sweden-Japan Society.
Mr. Akira Matsui, Former President of the Japan-Sweden Society, passed away on April 29, 1994, and Mr. Isamu Yamashita, who had served as Director for many years, also passed away on May 6, 1994. President Hattori and many other members of the Society attended the funerals to pay their last respects.
Director Masaru Ishii was presented with the Commander First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star by H.E. Mr. Magnus Vahlquist on July 4, 1994, at the Ambassador’s residence. The award was given in recognition of his meritorious contribution towards the promotion of friendly relations between Sweden and Japan, particularly the establishment of the European Institute of Japanese Studies (EIJS) at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE).
Mr. Kenzaburo Oe was awarded the 1994 Nobel Literature Prize. He is the eighth Japanese to be awarded a Nobel Prize and the second to be awarded one for Literature. He attended the Award Ceremony on December 10, 1994, in Stockholm and delivered an impressive speech titled “Japan, the Ambiguous, and Myself”.
Mr. Ichiro Yano, former President of the Society, passed away on April 17, 1995. During his Presidency from 1966 to 1974, he greatly contributed towards the development of the Society. President Hattori delivered a message of condolences at the funeral service on May 30.
H.I.H. Princess Chichibu, who, as Patroness of the Society from 1953 to 1981, rendered great assistance to the Society’s activities, passed away on August 25, 1995. On behalf of President Hattori and the Society, Managing Director Nosé attended the funeral on August 31, 1995.
Mr. Taro Gadelius, an Honorary Member who served the Society as a Vice President from 1951 to 1965, passed away on July 30, 1995, in Sweden. Many members were able to attend his memorial party in Tokyo and pay their last respects.
Through the kind courtesy of H.E. the Swedish Ambassador and Mrs. Magnus Vahlquist, the Society held its annual buffet-style party at the Swedish Ambassador’s Residence on December 19, 1995. The Society was very honoured to have the gracious presence of T.I.H. Prince and Princess Hitachi. 80 members and their guests enjoyed a splendid winter evening with musical entertainment provided by Mr. Shigeaki Hoshi, a member of the Society, and his friends.
H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf, Honorary President of the World Scout Foundation, visited Japan in October 1996 to participate in its various events. A dinner reception in honour of H.M. the King was held on October 11, under the sponsorship of the Boy Scouts of Nippon, at the Tokyo Kaikan. President Hattori and other members of the Society and their families were invited to attend this auspicious dinner.
H.R.H. Prince Bertil, the son of King Gustaf Adolf VI, passed away on January 5, 1997. The Society offered its condolences.
T.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia paid an auspicious visit to Japan from May 21 to 29, 1997. The King and Queen were graciously present at various functions of the “Sweden Campaign”, a one-year nationwide program introducing and promoting Swedish art, music and culture. The Society held a welcoming dinner party in honour of T.M. the King and Queen on May 22, 1997, at the Imperial Hotel, with the gracious attendance of T.I.H. Prince and Princess Hitachi. It was the first commemorative function in which the Society was honoured by the presence of the King and Queen. The entertainment during the dinner was a short Noh play performed by Rokuro Umewaka, one of our leading Noh performers. The 184 party guests, including H.E. Ambassador and Mrs. Magnus Vahlquist, enjoyed a pleasant evening.
After five years of service as Ambassador, H.E. and Mrs. Magnus Vahlquist left Japan in August 1997 to assume another diplomatic post as the Ambassador to Norway. The Society presented wristwatches as gifts to them.
H.E. Ambassador Krister Kumlin arrived in Tokyo in August 1997 to succeed H.E. Mr. Magnus Vahlquist and presented his Credentials on September 24, 1997.
Mr. Fumio Tanaka, who served the Society as Director from 1988, passed away on January 6, 1998. Dr. Kenichi Fukui, an Honorary Member of the Society, who was awarded the 1981 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, also passed away on January 9, 1998. Many members of the Society attended the funerals to pay their last respects.
The Society held its annual party at the Hotel Okura on March 16, 1998, with the auspicious attendance of T.I.H. Prince and Princess Hitachi. It was a great honour to have the pleasure of welcoming H.E. Ambassador and Mrs. Krister Kumlin to their first social function with the Society. The 87 guests enjoyed the splendid evening.
Throughout 1998, Stockholm was host to a wide variety of events to celebrate “Stockholm ’98 ̶ Cultural Capital of Europe”. Various programs - such as kabuki, ikebana and bonsai - designed to introduce Japanese culture to the people of Sweden and the rest of the world, were included in these celebrations. In addition to these traditional Japanese cultural events, programs introducing contemporary Japan also took place.