September 13, 2018 / 11:25 AM / in a month

UK's Prince William extends sympathy to Japan over natural disasters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Prince William offered his sympathy to victims of recent disasters in Japan as he officially opened a new Japanese cultural center in London on Thursday.

Britain's Prince William joins local school children from St Cuthbert with St Matthias CE Primary School at a copper beating workshop during the official opening of Japan House in London, Britain, September 13, 2018. Tim P. Whitby/Pool via REUTERS

Western Japan was hit last week by the strongest typhoon to strike the country in 25 years, and then just days later by an earthquake that paralyzed the northernmost main island of Hokkaido and left more than 40 dead.

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“In recent weeks you have seen nature at its cruellest and on behalf of my family I wanted you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been affected,” William said at the official opening of Japan House London where he was joined by Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso.

The cultural center, which opened to the public in June, brings together food, art, design and technology, with items such as 100 pound ($135) handcrafted nail clippers, traditional tea cups and Japanese whisky on display.

The center bills itself as a new home for Japanese creativity and business in Britain, where more than 1,000 Japanese companies operate, according to the country’s ambassador to Britain Koji Tsuruoka.

Other Japan House centers are in Los Angeles and Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison

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