The Japan-Norway Society (J-NS) is a membership-based society established in 1977. The aim is to promote friendly relations, mutual understanding and cultural interchange between the people of Japan and Norway.  In order to do so, we organize various activities and events. Our members consist of individuals, families and corporations from Norway, Japan and other nationalities living in Norway. Our vision is to be a platform for all members to interact, connect and be part of the Japan-Norway community in Norway. 

Board of Directors

Mr. Svend Haakon Kristensen (President)
Regional Director Asia at Innovation Norway. Board member of J-NS since 2015. Graduate from the Norwegian School of Economics and McGill University. Studied Japanese in Bergen and Japan. Working experience from private and public sector, including the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. More than 13 years of working experience for Norwegian industry living in Japan. Passionate about most aspects of the Norway-Japan relations.

Eirik Johannessen (Treasurer)
Processing officer at Nordea, Group, AML and Sanctions department. Member of J-NS since 2016 and also member of the Tokyo-based Norway-Japan Society in 2015. Graduate from the University of Oslo and Oslo and Akershus University of Applied Sciences. Exchange student at Kansai Gaidai University and Keio University. Also spent one semester as trainee at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo. Enjoy reading about/experiencing both modern and traditional Japanese culture, particularly making Japanese tea.

Hiroshi Arikawa (Board Member)
Managing Director at Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS, a company working for oil and gas exploration and production business in Norway since 1989. Idemitsu Petroleum Norge is also a main sponsor of Munch Museum more than 25 years. This is Mr. Arikawas first assignment to Norway since April 2016, but he spent more than half of my carrier (16 years now) in overseas starting from China, Malaysia, London UK (twice), and Perth Australia. Mr. Arikawa was born in Fukuoka City, or so called “Hakata”, in the southwestern part of Japan and is not strong for cold weather, but happy to come here and will do enjoy both work and life!

Mette K. Johnsen (Board Member)
Graduate 1970 from The Norwegian School of Econmics and Business Administration ( NHH), Bergen. Various positions with With Wilh Wilhelmsen ASA and  Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS 1971- 2005, mostly  as Vice President Finance. Elected candidate to the Oslo City Cousil, Representiing the Conservative Party (Høyre). Board Memberships in Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk, Treschow Fritzøe, Larvik, Storebrand ASA, Dagbladet, The National Theater, The Norwegian Opera and Ballet. Interests: Opera, Music, History, Art and Culture. Board member since 2009.

Kenichi Kasahara (Board Member)
Counsellor (Deputy Head of Mission) at the Embassy of Japan in Oslo.  Educated both in Japan and the US.  Have been posted to Istanbul, New York, and Pretoria (South Africa) since joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.  Arrived in Oslo in June of 2015, and am still struggle with my cross country skis.

Yasuko Oki (Board Member)
Master florist. Lecturer of Japanese Tea Ceremony at Omotesenke. Lecturer of Mami Flower Design School. Freelancer as master florist, course holder, coordinator, writer and blogger. Graduate from Hosei University and Staatliche Fachschule fuer Blumenkunst Weihenstephan in Germany. Exchange student from Germany to Norway for 3 months in 2005. Conducted Japanese Tea Ceremony and Japanese floral design courses in Germany, Italy and Norway. Board member since 2016.

Kaori Ishii (Board Member)
Sales and taste promoter at the Europe's first Sake Brewery, Nøgne Ø. Conducts Sake Sommelier Courses. Has had extensive work experience with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and United Nations Developing Programme.  Worked and studied in Tokyo, Sydney, Brisbane, Yangon, Lusaka, Johannesburg, New York, Tampa, Oslo and Helsinki before moving back to Oslo last year. Considers Norway her second home. Alma Mater: Keio University and University of Witwatersrand Business School. Enjoys experimenting sake-food pairing with seasonal Norwegian ingredients. Adores Norwegian nature. Board member since 2016.

Cecilie Nilsen (Board Member)
Grew up in Norway and Switzerland. Held various positions in the media and operations departments of Scandinavian Airlines. Studied marketing and languages and was an expatriate for eighteen years. Seven of those years I lived in Kobe and Yokohama. As a homeworker I had the opportunity and great pleasure to discover and explore the Japanese culture, Japan's rich and vibrant history, its people and all things Japanese. Board member since 2016.

Christoffer Kvernvold (Board Member)
Management Trainee and Engineer at Kongsberg Automotive AS with experience from the automotive and energy industry, recently as an expat in Abu Dhabi. MSc. Mechanical Engineering from Hong Kong UST. Exchange student to Ritsumeikan and Nagoya University, studied the Toyota production system and Japanese. I have a great passion and interest in Japanese culture, technology, language and culinary culture and I hope to contribute to more cooperation and exchange between our countries.

Yoshinori (Scott) Wagatsuma (Board Member)
Country General Manager at Sumitomo Corporation Europe Ltd Norway Branch. The company group is mainly working in Norway for Oil & Gas related business and Ship Building, having office at Oslo, Stavanger and Florø.
Wagatsuma grew up in Sendai, Japan and graduated from Tohoku University. Worked in Sumitomo Tokyo, Houston before moving to Oslo in April 2016. Enjoy Norway nature activities, such as hiking, skating, skiing together with a wife and a son, but not yet ready for ski jumping.