Japan-Norway Relations (Basic Data)
Established November 1905
1,123 (as of October, 2016)
Norwegian Nationals in Japan:
424 (as of December, 2016)
Trade with Japan (in Japanese Yen):
Export to Japan: 191 billion (2016: fish, petroleum products, nonferrous metals).
Import from Japan: 107 billion. (2016: road vehicles, iron and steel etc.)
Visitors between Japan and Norway
From Japan to Norway: 19,171 (2016)
From Japan to Norway: 61,924 (2014)
Norway and Japan established diplomatic relations in 1905. Interaction within economy and trade, in fields such as seafood, shipbuilding and petroleum, has been central in the bilateral relations between Norway and Japan over the past few years. Lately, cooperation to create peace and stability in the international society, amongst others the peacebuilding efforts in Sri Lanka, has been strengthened. Our two countries have also established cooperation agreements within the field of research and technology, and in 2012 a mutual agreement on “Working Holiday” visa was reached, giving citizens aged 18-30 the opportunity to enjoy extended stays through a combination of vacation and work.
During the new millennium, there has been a number of Norwegian high-level visits to Japan: HM King Harald V and HM Queen Sonja (2001), PM Bondevik (2003), HRH Crown Prince Haakon, (2005), PM Stoltenberg (2012), the President of the Parliament (Stortinget) Mr. Thommessen (2016) and FM Brende (2016). HM King Harald V has paid visits to Japan 6 times, including unofficial visits, most notably when he as the Crown Prince of Norway participated in the sailing competition during the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics.
From the Japanese side, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress paid a state visit to Norway in May 2005 to mark the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Norway and Japan. In December 2008 FM Nakasone was in Oslo, signing the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM).
In 2017, PM Abe and PM Solberg had a bilateral meeting on the occasion of Hamburg G20 Summit and discussed a broad range of issues such as the rule of law at sea and Arctic policies.
In February 2018, PM Abe had a summit meeting with PM Solberg who visited Japan and they shared the view that they would continue to promote the cooperation in the areas such as woman’s empowerment, academic exchange, science and technology and innovation. Both leaders also shared the view that both countries will continue to work together closely for the international agenda including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Norway and Japan share fundamental values such as democracy, human rights, rule of law, and market economy. The two countries stand by side in several processes on the international arena, including in the United Nations, in cooperation for peace, stability and the environment.
Since 1999, with the exception of 2006, there has been a Japanese import surplus in Norway-Japan bilateral trade. Japanese exports to Norway consist primarily of motorized vehicles (2016: approximately 43%), and iron and steel products (app. 14%). Japanese imports of Norwegian produce consist chiefly of fish and processed fish products (2016: app. 44%), in addition to petroleum products (app. 20%), and non-ferrous metals (app. 8 %).
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2005, several cultural events were arranged in both countries. Among the more striking happenings was the installation of an ice sculpture copy of the Norwegian parliament (Stortinget) at the annual Sapporo Snow Festival in February.
Japanese culture has drawn increased interest and attention over the last few decades. The number of students of the Japanese language at Norwegian higher education institutions has increased from a mere handful during the late 1990s to well over 300 in 2014. Norwegian youth has an increasing interest in, and knowledge of, Japan, especially Japanese pop culture. A rising number are reading Japanese literature and manga, watching anime, and even participating at cosplay events.
Renowned Norwegian artists such as Edvard Munch, Edvard Grieg and Henrik Ibsen are well known in Japan. The 2006 Ibsen Year was marked with staging of plays in Japan, and the same goes for the 2007 Grieg Year, and Edvard Munch’s 150th anniversary in 2013.
|April 2003||His Imperial Highness Prince Tomohito and Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko|
|April 2004||Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Yoshiyuki Kamei|
|May 2005||Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress|
|May 2006||Minister of Justice Seiken Sugiura|
|December 2008||Minister for Foreign Affairs Hirofumi Nakasone|
|May 2010||Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Tetsuro Fukuyama|
|May 2012||Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Defense Hideo Jinpu|
|September 2013||Senior Vice Minister of the Environment Shinji Inoue|
|May 2014||Minister for Reconstruction Takumi Nemoto|
|July 2014||Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Takao Makino|
|July 2014||Senior Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office Hiroshi Okada|
|August 2014||Senior Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office Yasutoshi Nishimura|
|August 2014||State Minister of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Midori Matsushima|
|October 2016||State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kentaro Sonoura|
Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshinao Nakagawa
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Katsuo Yakura
|May 2018||Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ken Saito|
|February 2000||Minister of Fisheries Lars Peder Brekk|
|May 2000||President of the Storting (Parliament) Kirsti Kolle Grøndahl|
|March 2001||Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway|
Minister of Foreign Affairs Torbjørn Jagland
Minister of Industry and Trade Grete Knudsen
Minister of Fisheries Otto Gregussen
|December 2001||Minister of Children and Family Affairs Laila Dåvøy|
|January 2002||Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Petersen|
|September 2002||Minister of Petroleum and Energy Einar Steensnæs|
|November 2002||Minister of the Environment Børge Brende|
|March 2003||Minister of International Development Hilde Frafjord Johnson|
Minister of Petroleum and Energy Einar Steensnæs
|May 2003||Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik|
Minister of Children and Family Affairs Laila Dåvøy
Minister of Fisheries Svein Ludvigsen
Minister of Industry and Trade Ansgar Gabrielsen
|May 2004||Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Petersen|
|February 2005||President of the Storting (Parliament) Jørgen Kosmo|
|April 2005||His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon|
Minister of Industry and Trade Børge Brende
|May 2005||Minister of Industry and Trade Børge Brende|
Minister of Education and Research Kristin Clemet
|June 2005||Minister of Children and Family Affairs Laila Dåvøy|
Minister of Fisheries Svein Ludvigsen
|November 2005||Minister of Justice Knut Storberget|
|May 2006||Minister of International Development Erik Solheim|
|September 2006||Minister of Children and Equality Karita Bekkemellem|
|October 2007||Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre|
|January 2009||Minister of Health and Care Services Bjarne Håkon Hansen|
|October 2010||Minister of Environment and Development Erik Solheim|
|February 2011||Minister of Education and Research Tora Aasland|
|May 2012||Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske|
|October 2012||Minister of International Development Heikki Holmås|
|November 2012||Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg|
Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Lisbeth Berg-Hansen
|November 2015||Minister of Fisheries Elisabeth Asparker|
|March 2016||President of the Storting (Parliament) Olemic Thommessen|
|October 2016||Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende|
|November 2016||Minister of Justice and Public Security Anders Anundsen|
|January 2017||Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland|
|June 2017||Minister of Fisheries Per Sandberg|
|February 2018||Prime Minister Erna Solberg|