Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has formally opened Japan House London, the new cultural home of Japan in the UK.
His royal highness was accompanied by Japan’s deputy prime minister, Taro Aso, and Koji Tsuruoka, ambassador of Japan to the UK.
Japan House London is a new permanent cultural venue on Kensington High Street.
It aims to foster a greater understanding of Japan in the UK and to strengthen cultural, social and economic bonds between the two nations.
The building includes exhibition, event and workshop spaces, a library, a restaurant and a shop.
Japan House London has captured the interest of the public with over 129,000 people visiting since it opened on June 22nd.
The duke, who previously visited Japan in 2015, toured the building and learnt about how the space is being used to promote and expand links between Japan and the UK – including the Japan-UK Season of Culture that will take place between 2019 and 2020, bridging the 2019 Rugby World Cup held in Japan and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Throughout the Season of Culture, the British Council will lead a series of activities in Japan, while the Japanese government will lead on activities in the UK.
Prince William said: “This amazing building - Japan House London - is intended to be the bridge across which the best in ideas and creativity between the UK and Japan will flow.
“Here, we can build new and lasting relationships in culture, education and business and forge a better understanding of your wonderful country.”
Japan House London is part of a global initiative led by the Japanese ministry of foreign affairs, there are two other Japan Houses in Los Angeles and São Paulo.