Published 19 February 2015

HRH The Duke of Cambridge will visit Japan from February 26 to March 1 and China from March 1 to March 4 to undertake a series of engagements on behalf of Her Majesty's Government.

This will be The Duke's first visit to both countries and he will spend approximately three days in each. Key engagements will support initiatives around the Government's GREAT campaign, aimed at building British prosperity through innovation and creative business partnerships.

In China, The Duke will launch the GREAT Festival of Creativity at Shanghai's contemporary Long Museum, the first major event in the Year of Cultural Exchange between the UK and China. The festival will showcase how British innovation and commercial creativity in fashion, health, technology, education, entertainment and luxury retail can bring advantages to Chinese businesses.

The Duke will also take the opportunity to observe, listen, learn and engage with Japanese and Chinese people involved in work related to some of his own areas of interest. This will include giving young people confidence and developing their potential through education. He will also meet Chinese conservationists to hear what China is doing locally, nationally and internationally to take a lead in important areas such as protecting the Asian elephant population in the south west province of Yunnan.

In Japan, the Duke's visit blends tradition and heritage with a focus on the future. He will launch an Innovation is Great campaign and public exhibition in Tokyo, see some of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic sites and take ceremonial tea with a tea Grand Master.

He will also visit Fukushima and the northeast region of the country devastated by a magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami nearly four years ago.

In Ishinomaki and Onagawa, The Duke will spend a morning meeting local people who were affected by the tsunami and hear how communities are rebuilding their lives and businesses with a strong sense of hope.

In China, The Duke will meet senior leaders in Beijing, tour the Forbidden City and hear young people tell their stories of the challenges of dealing with emerging social issues such as isolationism and their migration from rural to urban areas. 

As well as launching the GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai on March 2, The Duke will highlight the advantages of a world-class UK education when he attends the inaugural British Council Global Alumni Awards on March 3. All nine outstanding Chinese finalists have studied at leading UK universities and The Duke will hear how their experience of studying in the UK has changed their lives and communities.

In Shanghai, The Duke will attend the premiere of Paddington the movie in China and, as President of BAFTA, present a special mask to the Shanghai Film Museum as well as recently-discovered film of old Shanghai restored by the British Film Institute.

On March 4, The Duke travels to Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, which is home to an approximate 250 wild Asian elephants. There, he will visit a rural Dai community to hear how villagers co-exist with wild elephants in a way that ensures they can also sustain their way of life.  The Duke will then visit an Elephant Sanctuary and a Wild Elephant Walkway, all located in Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve, to hear about China's conservation efforts locally and nationally.

The Duke's tour to China will conclude at Xishuangbanna's Botanic Gardens where he will join a regional Wildlife and Conservation Conference and make a short speech reflecting on his visit and on the importance of conservation.