Prince William joined Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and UK Ambassador to Japan Koji Tsuruoka as they toured the new centre, which aims to create a greater understanding of the country amongst a UK audience, and to deepen cultural, social and economic bonds between the two nations.
The Duke sat down to practice his chopstick skills with a group of children from St Cuthbert with St Matthias CE Primary School, when one little boy (out of shot) shouted “hello” from across the table, in a video captured by the Daily Mail’s Rebecca English.
When asked by the Prince how he was doing, he replied nonchalantly: “I’m tired.”
“Are you tired?”
Chuckling, William replied: “Yes, I’m quite tired, has it been a long day for you too?
“Have you been enjoying your chopsticks?”
The little boy responded: “No… they’re hard,” provoking more laughter from the table.
In a rare slip-up, William also asked the children if they had eaten “much Chinese food”. Realising his mistake, he quickly corrected himself saying “sorry I mean Japanese food”.
During the visit, the Duke also met Japanese chef Akira Shimizu, who presented him with his signature bento box.
William thanked him and said: “My wife and I love sushi. We might have to come down here for lunch when no-one else is in.”
After unveiling a plaque to mark the opening, the royal gave a speech.
“This year marks 160 years since we established formal diplomatic relations between our two countries. And standing here now I am delighted to see those relations continue to flourish.”
He added: “As countries, we share many fundamental values – such as respect for democracy and the rule of law – and we continue to cooperate closely to tackle important global issues, such as the illegal wildlife trade – an issue very close to my heart.
“I am delighted that the UK is introducing a domestic ban on ivory, and I welcome Japan’s recent legislative reform to tighten controls around your own domestic ivory market. I hope you might, in time, help other neighbours in Asia to tackle the illegal trade in wildlife products by sharing your experience and expertise.”
One of William’s main priorities is to put an end to the illegal wildlife trade and earlier this week, he attended the Tusk Rhino Trail at Kensington Palace – an art installation which draws attention to the critical threat facing rhino populations across Africa due to a global poaching crisis.
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