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50 years later

It all started in 1971 when The Swedish Center, an eight-
floor building, was inaugurated in Roppongi in Tokyo.
The architect behind the house was professor Sten
Samuelsson from Malmö.
50 years later a group of people establishes the association
Japan House Scandinavia with the aim to establish a
Japanese house and Scandinavian hub in Malmö.
Simultaneously Sweden develops its embassy area with the
new meeting place "House of Sweden Tokyo" in Roppongi.


Japan House Scandinavia aims to enhance political,
economic and cultural relations between Japan, world's
third largest economy with 126 million inhabitants, and
Scandinavia - Sweden, Denmark and Norway - which
together with Finland has 27 million inhabitants and a
combined GDP equal to South Korea or Russia, and larger
than Spain.


The Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)
entered into force on 1 February 2019, opening a new
marketplace home to 635 million inhabitants and almost
a third of the world's GDP. Together with the EU-Japan
Strategic Partnership and the EU-Japan Green Alliance
it brings the people of Japan and Europe closer than
ever before. Japan House Scandinavia was established
in this spirit.

A Nobel Prize winner

J-Parc (Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex)
became the second neutron source in the world in 2008.
ESS (European Spallation Source) in Lund, Sweden, is the
third. The two facilities exchange technical information and
experiences since 2012. In 2017 the Memorandum of
Collaboration was renewed in front of Prime Ministers
Abe and Löfven. A scientific leap forward is expected.
Can it even result in a Nobel Prize winner?
Photo: Maja Suslin/ESS

Toyota's Nordic Hub

The harbour of Malmö (CMP) is Scandinavia’s largest
terminal for new cars and a hub for Japanese vehicles.
More than 200.000 Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and
Suzuki are unloaded annually and distributed to customers
throughout Scandinavia, the Baltic States and Russia.

Photo: Dennis Rosenfeldt/CMP

IKEA furnishes Japan

The telecommunication company Ericsson connects
people in Japan, H&M dresses them and IKEA furnishes
their homes. Several other Swedish companies have a long
history in Japan. Alfa Laval within heat transfers entered
the Japanese market in 1925 and Höganäs has sold metal
powder to the vehicle industry since 1956. Three million
school children receive milk in Tetra Pak packages.
Photo: IKEA shop at Harajuko, spring 2020/IKEA.

A Japanese center

The twin cities of Malmö and Lund have become a
Japanese center in Scandinavia. Fujio Mitarai, CEO and
chairman of Canon Inc, has visited Canon's subsidiary Axis
in Lund several times. Together with its neighbour SONY
the two companies have 3 000 employees only in Lund.
Fanuc, Honda and Subaru have their Nordic head offices
in Malmö.
Photo: Fujio Mitarai on visit at Axis in July 2019/Axis

More than a symbol

Beyond business and politics there are literature, music,
art, films, social relations, architecture, food and drinks.
Per Oscar Brekell from Malmö is a certified Japanese Tea
Instructor who appears frequently on Japanese radio and
television, encouraging people to enjoy green tea.
Japanese House Scandinavia aims to promote the exchange
between Japan and Scandinavia and strives for being more
than a symbol - to enrich our lives.

Ambassador Pereric Högberg

Ambassador Högberg congratulated

Japan House Scandinavia was established as a non-profit member based association on 22 April 2021 to enhance political, economic and cultural relations between Japan and Scandinavia. Key speaker at the event was the Swedish Ambassador to Japan Pereric Högberg who talked about the Swedish-Japanese relations and congratulated Japan House Scandinavia, welcomed the initiative and promised to support it. ”I like your ambition and your approach. I wish you all the best and let us stay in contact!”, he concluded. A board of directors was elected: Kerstin Tham, Malmö University, Cerold Andersson, Fanuc Nordic, Mikael Palmquist, IKEA, Lars Vargö, Institute for Security & Development Policy Japan Center, Micael Nord, Malmö City, Viktor Öwall, Lund University, Ofelia Madsen, PanLink, Anders Olshov, Intelligence Watch, and as deputy members Cecilia Christersson, Malmö University, and Richard Hultin, Skanska. Read about the board of directors here.

View ambassador Högberg’s speech here. (Video in Swedish)


On 10 November 2019 Intelligence Watch, a Swedish think tank, published a report showing that the cities Malmö and Lund in Southern Sweden have especially extensive business and research relations with Japan: Axis, a subsidiary of Canon, and Sony have 3 000 employees, 70 percent of the cars unshipped in the harbour are Japanese, J-Parc and ESS cooperate as two of the world’s high-power neutron spallation sources, Nippon Foundation is the largest financier of the World Maritime University, Honda, Subaru, Fanuc and Hoya have established Nordic headquarters and Japan is one of the most important markets for big companies like Alfa Laval, Axis, Höganäs, Tetra Pak and Trelleborg. The proposed Japan House interested Malmö city and in September 2020 a high level meeting was arranged. The participants agreed on establishing the association Japan House Scandinavia.