Prince William has revealed that dreamed of being as astronaut as a child, a revelation he made on the second day of his royal visit to Japan.

On meeting Soichi Noguchi, who spent 177 days in the International Space Station five years ago, the Duke of Cambridge, who is a trained search and rescue pilot, said: "When I was younger, I dreamed of being an astronaut.

"But I also thought that I was going to be a policeman one day, as a very small boy.

"I've always wanted to say I'd be something like a fire breather but that's far too alternative."

During his visit, on 27 February, the Prince met Japanese and British business leaders in a conference to promote latest British technologies and enhance collaboration between the two countries.

In a speech at the conference William began by apologising his wife could not be there with him.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who expecting the couple's second baby, is staying home with their first son George.

The Prince will head north on 28 February to visit Fukushima and Miyagi Prefecture where people are still struggling to recover from the tsunami and nuclear disaster following the earthquake of March 2011.