Bieber Does Japan

Justin Bieber’s decision to go ahead with his tour of Japan turned out to be a very fortunate one.

Though the teen singer’s crew reportedly balked at traveling to Japan because of the ongoing nuclear crisis, Bieber said he was set on going even without them.

In the end, the tour went ahead as planned with two sold-our shows, one at Zepp Osaka and the other at the Budokan in Tokyo. Though Bieber’s star power would have guaranteed huge coverage anyway, his ancillary visit with young victims of the disaster and his donating part of the proceeds from the concerts to relief efforts have forever made him a hero to Japanese who most likely wouldn’t have paid any attention otherwise.

Just before arriving in Japan, Bieber heard that Maroon 5, which was then touring the country, decided to contribute a portion of their fee to relief efforts and he decided he’d do it, too.

Then, on May 18, Bieber, who is a Canadian citizen, visited the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo where he met with children from the town of Otsuchi, which was destroyed by the tsunami.

Later, Bieber tweeted, “Just met some incredible kids who have been thru alot because of the devastation…blessed to meet them and proud to know them. When you meet kids like that…with all their strength and courage to move on you realize the important things in life.”

Afterward, U.S. ambassador John Roos commended Bieber for “sending a message to the entire world” that Japan is a safe country and that people shouldn’t be afraid to visit.

Since the earthquake, literally dozens of foreign acts have canceled Japan tours.