William visiting China and Japan

Published: Thursday 26th February 2015 by The News Editor

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The Duke of Cambridge will experience both the ancient and modern of Japanese life when he arrives in the Far East nation today.

William – who will tour both Japan and China over the next seven days – will see Tokyo’s skyline by boat then be served tea during a traditional service performed by a grand master.

Miguel Head, William’s private secretary, said ahead of the visit that the Duke was personally interested in the two countries which he has not visited before.

He added: “The Duke’s hugely looking forward to the visit and getting to know two countries that will be important in his life for years to come.”

Kensington Palace said: “Key engagements will support initiatives around the Government’s Great campaign, aimed at building British prosperity through innovation and creative business partnerships.”

Highlights of William’s visit will see him tour parts of Japan devastated by the 2011 tsunami, and in Beijing he will see the famous Forbidden City.

In Shanghai, the Duke will launch the three-day Great Festival of Creativity at the city’s Long Museum next Monday.

It will promote British commercial creativity and innovation to a high-profile business audience from the UK, China and beyond, with the aim of creating opportunities for UK companies wanting to break into one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

While in Shanghai the Duke, who is president of Bafta, will use the opportunity to discuss the organisation’s intentions to foster creative and cultural exchanges between British and Asian workers in the film, television and games industries.

William will also attend an event before the premiere of the Paddington movie in Shanghai, and is expected to meet the famous fictional bear.

The Duke is also hoping to see Asian elephants in the wild during his visit to China.

William – who has campaigned strongly to end the illegal trade in ivory and other endangered animal products – will travel to the Yunnan Province next Wednesday where 250 wild Asian elephants still roam free.

The Duke’s trip will put a spotlight on his father the Prince of Wales’s uneasy relationship with China and raise questions about why he has yet to make an official visit to the republic.

A high-profile tour by William will be viewed as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations with the country.

Charles’s dealings with China have been troubled in the past, particularly after he described its leaders as ”appalling old waxworks” in a leaked diary.

Tomorrow will see the first full day of the tour where the Duke will lay a wreath at the Hodogaya Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, Yokohama.

Later he will attend the Innovation is Great campaign launch at the Mori Academy before attending a reception at the British Embassy hosted by the UK’s ambassador Tim Hitchens.

Published: Thursday 26th February 2015 by The News Editor

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