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Prince William mixes up Japan and China in latest royal gaffe

Updated 3:27 PM ET, Thu September 13, 2018

London (CNN) - Britain's Prince William is following in the footsteps of his gaffe-prone grandfather, Prince Philip, confusing Japanese food with Chinese food during a public appearance on Thursday.

At the opening of the Japan House cultural center in London's Kensington, near Buckingham Palace, Prince William chatted to school students learning how to use chopsticks, according to footage broadcast in British media.

"Have you guys had much Chinese food?" he asked them, only to be met with an awkward pause.

"Sorry, Japanese food. Have you had much Japanese food?" he said during a tour of Japan House, where he was accompanied by Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso.

It's the second time in six weeks that a British representative has confused the two countries, which have been rivals since the Japanese occupation of China during World War II and which continue to feud over disputed territory.

In July, newly appointed British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tried to impress officials in Beijing by talking about his Chinese wife, only to accidentally call her Japanese, in an embarrassing slip-up on his first mission abroad.

"My wife is Japanese," he said, before realizing his gaffe, and then adding "my wife is Chinese."

Prince William, who rarely slips up in his public appearances, made a success of the rest of his visit, sipping on some sake rice wine during a toast, and trying some "delicious and amazing" salmon sashimi prepared specially by famed chef Akira Shimizu, the Press Association reported.

"My wife and I love sushi," he said. "We might have to come down here for lunch when there's no one else down."

He added: "Just as long as you don't get people coming in and saying: 'I'll have a burger."'

Prince William said he had been "deeply honored" to visit Japan in 2015, when he saw the "wonderful blend of ancient and modern which so characterizes your amazing country," PA reported.


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