State visit to Japan - program

From Wednesday 29 to Friday 31 October 2014, Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, will make a state visit to Japan at the invitation of the Japanese government (see Government Information Service press release no. 236).

They will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans, while the Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, will head a trade mission to run in parallel with the visit.

The visit will reinforce the already strong bilateral relations between the two countries. It will focus on the exchange of knowledge and new partnerships in the fields of energy, agriculture and horticulture. The accompanying business delegation will be deployed to promote knowledge exchanges between government bodies, businesses and knowledge institutions. Former Japanese honorary consul-general in Amsterdam, Mr Jaap Rost Onnes, will accompany the trip as the face of the trade mission as well as being a member of the official delegation. Mr Onnes has an extensive Japanese contact network and detailed knowledge of Japanese society. He has spent 30 years helping entrepreneurs from both countries connect with one another.

The programme of the state visit will include set items, such as a welcome ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, an inspection of the guard of honour, and an audience with the Emperor and Empress. A state banquet at the Imperial Palace, a meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan and an official leave-taking of the Emperor and Empress will also form part of the visit.

Wednesday 29 October

The royal couple will visit 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, an exhibition venue set up by fashion designer Issey Miyake and designed by architect Tadao Ando. Its aim is to stimulate interest in design and to promote social debate on the topic. The King and Queen will also visit 'THE FAB MIND: Hints of the Future in a Shifting World' exhibition, which looks at the influence of the information society on social inequality and ethics.

After meeting members of the local Dutch community, the royal couple will take a tour of a Shinto temple and a Buddhist temple. The focus will be on the role these two belief systems play in the daily lives of the Japanese people.

Thursday 30 October

On the second day of the visit King Willem-Alexander will open a meeting on wind energy. Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan is looking for new, affordable and environmentally friendly sources of energy. Japan's location offers plenty of scope for the construction of offshore wind farms and the Netherlands is a leading centre of knowledge and expertise in this field, so the meeting will explore what is needed to launch a large-scale project of this kind. The King and Queen will also attend presentations by Dutch and Japanese companies active in the offshore wind farm sector. The morning will conclude with the royal couple meeting CEOs of Japanese companies with offices in the Netherlands. After the United Kingdom and Germany, the Netherlands is home to the largest number of Japanese companies in Europe.

In the afternoon the King and Queen will pay a visit to Tokyo University. Japan is home to the world's fastest ageing population and the royal couple will be briefed on new innovative developments in the field of Japanese elderly care. They will speak with representatives of government and other Japanese authorities, as well as planners and elderly people themselves about special communities for older people and the use of medical devices and robots in elderly care. The Dutch community care bodyBuurtzorg Nederlandwill also be a topic of discussion, as it has served as a model for a similar organisation in Japan.

Friday 31 October

King Willem-Alexander will deliver an opening speech at a food and agribusiness conference. The conference will focus on food security and agribusiness opportunities. Japan wishes to expand its agricultural sector with a view to significantly increasing its economic potential. The country is therefore looking to the Netherlands in the light of its status as the world's second-biggest exporter of agri-food products as well as its productive, high-tech, innovative and sustainable agriculture. Afterwards the King and Queen will attend presentations by Dutch-Japanese cooperative partnerships.

Following the conference, the King and Queen will meet the chair and honorary chair of TOKYO 2020 who will explain the organisation of the city's 2020 Olympic Games. The royal couple will then take part in a CEO roundtable meeting on cooperation between the Dutch and Japanese private sectors.

At the end of the afternoon, the royal couple will, by way of a reciprocal gesture, host a concert by Musica Amphion, an ensemble specialising in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music, played on authentic instruments.