Lady Gaga added her voice to the diplomats and dignitaries sending condolences to Japan on Thursday to mark 10 years since its catastrophic earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster.
The US singer has a huge following in Japan and visited the country three months after the 2011 disaster, declaring “Japan is safe” and calling on tourists from around the world to do the same.
On a video on Twitter, she said:
It seems like yesterday that I was watching the shocking footage of the devastating earthquake and tsunami on the news, and thinking, ‘what can I do to help?. Seeing and hearing about the vast recovery of your beautiful cities, I have so much respect for the people of Japan for your strength, kindness, and love for each other.
In the video, viewed more than 1.5 million times, the currently lilac-haired star said Japan’s response would give hope to people who are “fighting through” the coronavirus pandemic.
However, I can also imagine that there are still many people fighting through the pain, emotionally and mentally,” she said. So, let’s all continue to support each other, be kind to each other and love each other. I’m always praying for you, Japan, for a better world.
She ended the tribute by saying “aishitemasu”, meaning “I love you” in Japanese, and blowing a kiss.
After the 2011 disaster, which left around 18,500 people dead or missing, the performer launched a fundraising drive and took part in a charity concert to support reconstruction efforts.
A magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean off the northeast coast of the Tōhoku region of Japan’s Honshu island on March 11, 2011.
The Great East Japan Earthquake — the name given to the event by the Japanese government — triggered a massive tsunami that flooded more than 200 square miles of coastal land. Waves were estimated to be as high as 38 meters, the height of a 12-story building.
An estimated 20,000 people were dead or missing and close to 500,000 people were forced to evacuate. In addition, a nuclear power plant meltdown triggered a nuclear emergency.
The direct economic loss from the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster is estimated at $360 billion as reported by Worldvision.