Britain's Prince William talks with Michael Houlihan, Director General of Japan House, and Taro Aso, Japan's Deputy Prime Minister, after unveiling a plaque at the official opening of Japan House in London
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince William offered his sympathy to victims of recent disasters in Japan as he officially opened a new Japanese cultural centre in London on Thursday.
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 paralysed the northernmost main island of Hokkaido and left more than 40 dead.
"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 centre, 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 centre 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 centres are in Los Angeles and Sao Paolo, Brazil.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)