Lady Gaga has been given a thank-you letter by the Japanese government for a tearful address in which she insisted Japan is completely safe and that everyone should flock there.
In the wake of the Sendai disaster, Japan’s tourism has plummeted over 50% below the levels a year earlier, and the government is understandably keen to rectify matters.
To this end, it has enlisted the aid of Lady Gaga in restoring confidence in the viability of Japan as a tourist destination, stressing that only small parts of it are highly radioactive.
Lady Gaga herself arrived in Japan to participate in an MTV fundraising event, and is already said to have most generously donated millions of dollars of her own fortune to aid relief efforts.
Her initial appearance was as striking as ever:
Lady Gaga’s unlimited enthusiasm for Tokyo is such that there may well be some suspicion as to whether she is thinking of the right city, and whether she is reading from a script given to her by the Japanese government:
“I am always so inspired when I come to Japan, inspired by the spirit, the passion, the love, the absolutely infectious joy of Tokyo.
I can’t say enough to people all over the world that the majority of Japan right now, Japan in general, is very safe. It’s fine to come here. It’s beautiful.
The most important thing, and the best thing, we could do for Japan right now is to boost tourism.
I would like to use my position here today and all week long to run around Tokyo enjoy the beautiful city and kiss all the beautiful little monsters and scream at the top of my lungs that everyone should come visit this beautiful place.”
Part of her speech:
An official from Japan’s tourism agency was on hand to give her an official letter of gratitude from the Japanese government for this performance – she played this down:
“I hope you all know all over Japan that I need no letter or present or gift from anyone. My devotion to the people of Japan comes from a selfless place. I love this country so much and I will cherish this letter forever in my heart.”
The USA’s ambassador to Japan is clear – only Lady Gaga can save Japan:
“This morning I had breakfast with some think tank experts, U.S.-Japan experts, who said to me, Mr. Ambassador, ‘What can we do in order to strengthen the strategic, economic and people to people relations between Japan and the United States?’ And I had one answer, Lady Gaga.”
Unfortunately, persuading people to visit a nation whose capital is only 250km away from the radioactive evacuation zone for the second worst nuclear disaster in history may prove too much even for an ephemeral celebrity like Lady Gaga.