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Prince William helps celebrate opening of Japan House in London

Courtesy of Japan House London/Jiji Press

Prince William listens to an explanation about items on display at Japan House in London on Thursday.

Jiji Press LONDON (Jiji Press) — Britain’s Prince William raised a toast to help celebrate the grand opening of Japan House in London, a Japanese government-run public relations hub, at a ceremony on Thursday.

The prince led the traditional Japanese toast of sake, saying, “Kanpai” in Japanese, after a tour of the facility located on Kensington High Street in western London.

In a speech, he offered condolences over a recent series of deadly natural disasters in Japan, saying “our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been affected.”

Referring to his visit to Japan three years ago, Prince William said, “I had the chance to experience the wonderful blend of ancient and modern, which so characterizes your amazing country.”

Noting that links between Japan and Britain, ranging from culture to trade and security, go back centuries, he said, “I am delighted to see those relations continue to flourish.”

Participants of the event included Taro Aso, deputy prime minister and finance minister.

Other Japan House facilities are in Los Angeles and Sao Paulo. The Japan House project is designed to help people overseas have a better understanding of Japan’s attractions.

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