Prince William in Japan: Day Two “Innovation Is GREAT” [Speech]

The Duke of Cambridge began his second day in Japan by paying his respects and laying a wreath at Hodogaya Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Yokohama, about 9 km west of Tokyo. His Royal Highness was accompanied by the Defence Attaches of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and India, all of whom have soldiers buried at the cemetery. Representatives of the USA, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Self-Defence Force were also present.

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A visit to Hodogaya Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Yokohama

 

The War Cemetery was constructed by the Australian War Graves Group after the Second World War and contains the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who died in Japan as prisoners of war or with the occupying forces after the war. It comprises of four main parts; the United Kingdom section, the Australian section, the Canadian and New Zealand section and the Indian Forces 1939-1945 section.

 

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On his wreath, The Duke wrote ‘May we never forget all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom’ which he lay at the Cross of Remembrance.

 

Later in the day Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan welcomed The Duke of Cambridge to luncheon at the Imperial Palace before His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Japan invited The Duke of Cambridge to join him for an audience.

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Meeting the Emperor and Empress of Japan

 

The British Royal Family have enjoyed a warm relationship with the Imperial Family of Japan over the years, and in his speech today The Duke of Cambridge spoke of how The Queen was “deeply touched when The Emperor and Empress visited Windsor Castle in 2012 to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee”

The Queen and Prince Philip greet the Emperor of Japan, Akihito and Empress Michiko during Queen's Diamond Jubilee

The Queen and Prince Philip greet the Emperor of Japan, Akihito and Empress Michiko during Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

In the afternoon The Duke launched the Innovation is GREAT campaign at Academy Hills on the 49th floor of the imposing Mori Tower in Roppongi, which – on a clear day – has stunning views over Tokyo towards Mount Fuji.

His Royal Highness joined the Innovation is GREAT conference where he made a speech about British and Japanese collaboration before watching video messages of collaboration and partnership between the British astronaut Tim Peake and Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui. [See Speech Below]

Both astronauts are bound for the International Space Station this year and have a unique opportunity to encourage partnership and innovation during their missions.

The start of this symbolic partnership between the two astronauts and two countries will be marked with a sake barrel-breaking ceremony on stage. This colourful ceremony is traditionally performed at celebratory events, representing harmony and good fortune.

The Duke of Cambridge laughs with Astronaut Soichi Noguchi as he is clothed in a Japanese Happi coat before a Saki breaking barrel ritual. His Royal Highness was attending the Innovation is GREAT conference in Tokyo, promoting trade between the UK and Japan, 27 February 2015.

The Duke of Cambridge laughs with Astronaut Soichi Noguchi as he is clothed in a Japanese Happi coat before a Saki breaking barrel ritual. His Royal Highness was attending the Innovation is GREAT conference in Tokyo, promoting trade between the UK and Japan, 27 February 2015.

The Duke afterwards met three UK Tech Award winners and see a number of product displays demonstrations of British innovation, which are on show for the Japanese delegates.

The last engagement of the day was a reception at the British Embassy, given by the Ambassador, where The Duke of Cambridge met high profile Japanese figures including politicians, artists, young leaders, sportsmen and other leaders in the field.

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Members of the Japan Rugby Football World Cup Squad with The Duke of Cambridge at today’s reception

 

Another GREAT day for Prince William’s visit in Japan!

 

The Duke of Cambridge’s Speech at the Innovation is Great event, Tokyo, Japan

Published on 27th February 2015

 

Minna sama. Konichi-wa.

Thank you very much for the warm welcome.  If I may, I would like to start with a word of thanks for the very warm welcome I have received so far in Japan. 

I was immensely honoured to have been received by Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress earlier today, and to have met The Crown Prince and Crown Princess afterwards.   My grandmother, The Queen, has very happy memories of her visit here in 1975, and I know that we were all deeply touched as a family when The Emperor and Empress visited Windsor Castle in 2012 to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, just months after His Majesty’s stay in hospital.  It was an enormously generous gesture, and hugely appreciated. 

I am only sorry that Catherine and George cannot be here in Japan this time, but I know that she looks forward to visiting Japan in the future.  I know that she is following my visit here closely, and would have me pass to you all her warmest greetings.

In just 24 hours so far in Japan, I have had a chance to experience the blend of ancient and modern which so characterizes this amazing country.  I can barely think of another country on earth which pays so much reverence to its ancient customs whilst also being so outwardly modern.  

Of course, the United Kingdom, too, is known as a place where the ancient and modern co-exist very comfortably alongside one another.  The United Kingdom and Japan have a great deal in common, and our links with one another go back centuries.  The first British national, Will Adams – known here as Miura (MEEURA) Anjin – arrived on Japanese shores 415 years ago, and spent the rest of his life teaching the Japanese shoguns maritime skills.  I am sure that he learned just as much from them! 

As two nations, we have been learning from each other ever since. At the end of the nineteenth century, Japan imported a great wave of technology and practice from the United Kingdom, from railways to whisky.  In the second half of the twentieth century, and into this, the exchange has been more two-way.  Britain’s car, train and nuclear industries are reviving, and becoming world-beating, thanks to Japanese investment from Hitachi, Nissan and many others.  Our experiences of running the London Olympics and Paralympics are being actively shared with those here preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.  I have no doubt that these will be a great success.

The United Kingdom has a proud track record of giving the world life-changing products and designs – from the internet to the hypodermic syringe.  And we have a long track record of opening our doors to entrepreneurs from overseas – entrepreneurs like the three Japanese winners of the UK Tech Awards, who I am about to meet, and who will visit Britain next month to understand for themselves how their businesses can benefit from what the United Kingdom has to offer.

It’s in that spirit of collaboration and a shared history that I am proud to open the Innovation is GREAT campaign here in Tokyo.   

Thank you for joining us here today.

Arigato gozaimas.

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