Swedish royals unshaken by Japanese earthquake

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia have begun their almost week-long state visit to Japan.

The first point on the royal agenda was a discussion with representatives of Swedish industry, who sent a delegation to Tokyo along with the king and queen.

The couple went on to the Swedish embassy in the Japanese capital, where they met the entire ambassadorial staff and a couple of hundred invited Swedes who live in Tokyo.

A powerful earthquake in the ocean off the Japanese coast, in the Ishikawa area around 300km northwest of Tokyo, the day the Swedish royal party arrived measured 7.1 on the Richter scale.

The vibrations were felt on land for around 30 seconds and a tsunami warning was issued for the west coast of Honshu island.

But by the time the king and queen touched down the geological drama was over.

“We landed just after the earthquake and also it wasn’t in this region,” said the palace press officer Nina Eldh to TT.

This is only the second Swedish state visit to Japan. The first was in 1980. One of the main items on a packed agenda is to recognise the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus.