Company Visits

Visiting the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo

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Sweden has a long history of being represented in Japan, at first it was the Dutch in the 19th century who aided by representing the union of Sweden and Norway. But it was not until 1907 after the dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway that the first permanent representation was established. The current embassy in Tokyo was completed in 1991 and is one the largest embassies that Sweden has. On March 6th Johannes Schygge and Alexander Fornell met with Louise Gårdestad, Third Secretary at the embassy who talked about the work that the embassy does as well as how it is to work at an embassy in a foreign country.

The goal of the embassy is to be the official representation of Sweden in Japan so that for example Japanese officials have someone to contact and also to spread awareness of Swedish innovations and culture. But Swedes in Japan can also contact them with questions. For example, after the earthquake in March 11 2011 and the Fukushima accident, a lot of people called who needed information. When CITO met Ms Gårdestad was working with preparing for the international women’s day on the 8th of March. She has a background of studying Political Science and working at the Government Office (Regeringskansliet) at the Department of Labour but transferred to the State Department (Utrikesdepartementet) and was thereby able to move to Japan. CITO also met with Stefan Öjersjö, General Manager at The Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (SCCJ) who have an office in the embassy complex. Mr Öjersjö who is originally from Gothenburg talked about the work that SCCJ do in Japan which consists of being an organization for Swedish companies in Japan as well as being a place to meet and network with others. Since Mr. Öjersjö has lived in Japan for almost 30 years he had a lot of experiences to share with us how it is to work as a foreigner in Japanese companies. CITO thanks Louise Gårdestad and Stefan Öjersjö for taking the time to meet with us!

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