Sweden's king, Japan's emperor mark 150 years of diplomacy

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, left, Queen Silvia, center right, greet Japan's Emperor Akihito, center left, and Empress Michiko upon their arrival at the special exhibition "The Art of Natural Science in Sweden" at the Intermediatheque Museum in Tokyo Monday, April 23, 2018. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)
Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, left, greets Japan's Emperor Akihito upon latter's arrival at the special exhibition "The Art of Natural Science in Sweden" at the Intermediatheque Museum in Tokyo Mondauy, April 23, 2018. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)
Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, left, Queen Silvia, second from right, greet Japan's Emperor Akihito, center left, and Empress Michiko upon their arrival at the special exhibition "The Art of Natural Science in Sweden" at the Intermediatheque Museum in Tokyo Monday, April 23, 2018. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)
Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, right, Queen Silvia, second from right, Japanese Emperor Akihito, left, and Empress Michiko, second from left, visit Special Exhibition "The Art of Natural Science in Sweden" at JP Tower Museum in Tokyo, Monday, April 23, 2018.(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, Pool)

TOKYO — Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf and Japan's Emperor Akihito attended a special exhibit on Swedish natural sciences in Tokyo on Monday to mark 150 years of diplomacy between the countries.

The king and Queen Silvia accompanied Akihito and Empress Michiko at the exhibition featuring three key Swedish scientists from the 18th century who have influenced Japan, including Carl Linnaeus, who set the basis of a systematic scientific classification.

Akihito, a marine biologist specializing in gobies, was awarded an honorary degree in 2007 for his research from the university where Linnaeus studied.

Japan's NHK television said Akihito was fixated by Linnaeus' original book of classification and stayed at the exhibition longer than planned. Television footage showed Akihito intensely looking at the book through a glass showcase, while a smiling Michiko stood by his side.

The Swedish royals were also to attend a state banquet hosted by Akihito and have lunch with the Japanese royals' oldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito. The king and queen will also meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and attend a business seminar and other events before leaving Tokyo on Thursday.

Akihito is set to abdicate at the end of April 2019 after reigning for 30 years. Naruhito is to succeed the Chrysanthemum Throne the next day.

Must Read

Britain's May seeks out new trading relations post-Brexit

Sep 4, 2016

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she intends to seize new trading opportunities for a...

Hong Kong pro-democracy candidates retain veto in key vote

Sep 5, 2016

A group of young Hong Kong pro-democracy activists has pulled off a stunning election victory,...

China, Russia launch South China Sea naval war games

Sep 12, 2016

China's military says the Chinese and Russian navies are launching eight days of war games in the...

Taiwan loses diplomatic ally in move welcomed by Beijing

Dec 21, 2016

Taiwan has condemned the African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe's "abrupt" move to break...

China resumes ties with Sao Tome in triumph over Taiwan

Dec 26, 2016

China and Sao Tome and Principe have officially resumed diplomatic relations after the African...