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Prince William met with Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko at the Gosho imperial residence, bowing from the neck to both of them.
He arrived in a chauffeur driven car and was met by the royal couple outside the residence in Tokyo.
Addressing them in turn as "your majesty", the Prince told Akihito, who he last met in 2012 during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Sovereign Monarchs' lunch: "Your majesty, it's very nice to see you again. Thank you for having me here - fantastic."
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Prince William is in Japan for his first ever visit. He was taken on a tour of the capital's harbour before enjoying a traditional tea ceremony.
Royal Editor Tim Ewart reports:
The Duke of Cambridge has experienced a simple but spiritual Japanese tea ceremony to mark his arrival in the Far East country.
William who is making his first trip to Japan, was served tea by a grand master who has performed the ritual for his parents the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the Queen.
The second-in-line to the throne was taken to a centuries-old Tokyo teahouse and seated at a small table where he received the green tea, which is said to have life-prolonging properties.
Prince William took a speedboat ride across Tokyo Harbour on this morning after arriving in Japan for a four-day visit.
Despite heavy rain and strong winds, the Duke of Cambridge's boat sailed from the airport and under the iconic Rainbow Bridge, before heading to the Hama Rikyu garden, a traditional Japanese garden in central Tokyo.
Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe escorted the Prince on the boat as it made its way around the bay area which will be a venue for some sports at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
It's the first visit to the country by the Duke of Cambridge.
His wife Kate, pregnant with the royal couple's second child, stayed at home.
Prince William took a speedboat ride across Tokyo Harbour this morning after arriving in Japan for a four-day visit.
The Duke of Cambridge will be taken to the area devastated by the tsunami, as part of the trip, but some have claimed he will not meet families whose lives were blighted when the tsunami triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.
Soon after the second-in-line to the throne's scheduled flight touched down at Tokyo's Haneda airport, Kensington Palace confirmed he had completed the last of his exams to earn his Air Transport Pilot Licence and would start work with East Anglian Air Ambulance in the summer.
Highlights of William's trip to the Far East will include a visit to Beijing's Forbidden City and in Shanghai he will launch the three-day Great Festival of Creativity.
Prince William in Tokyo at the start of a four-day visit of Japan.
Kensington Palace tweeted a photograph of the Prince's arrival by boat:
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