TOKYO – US pop legend Cyndi Lauper on Monday called on the world not to forget Japan’s northern region, a day after the first anniversary of the country’s quake-tsunami disaster.
“I just want to say to the world, please don’t forget about Japan, it’s very traumatic,” Lauper told the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo.
Lauper, best known for 80’s hit songs including “Time after Time” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, was in Japan for a concert tour and to visit areas affected by last year’s natural disasters, which triggered the world’s worst nuclear accident in a generation.
The 58-year-old entertainer said a woman in disaster-ravaged northern Japan gave her a piece of candy, promising it was not contaminated by radiation.
“And I’m thinking ‘Oh my God’ and this is the thing, nobody goes up north at all,” Lauper said.
“Those people can’t be isolated and cut off… They could have radiation issues but I don’t think you can catch radiation by shaking somebody’s hands and giving them a hug.
“The only way to get back up again is to include them.”
On Sunday, tens of thousands rallied near Japan’s crippled Fukushima plant demanding an end to nuclear power, while thousands more around the world protested against atomic power.
Lauper had arrived in Tokyo for an earlier tour when the disasters struck on March 11 and decided to continue performing.
“I talked to my crew… I said I’d like to stay because I felt it would be a good distraction (for people) and if music is truly healing then let’s see, put it to the test here,” she said.