Kylie Minogue and Julia Gillard unite for tsunami fundraiser in Japan
POP princess Kylie Minogue swept into the foyer of Tokyo's Imperial Hotel last night as the star guest of an Australian Embassy fundraiser for the March 11 Japan tsunami disaster where she met with Julia Gillard and the head of Australia's rescue effort Rob McNeil..
Wildly popular as a performer in Japan, Ms Minogue said she had decided not to cancel a planned tour and had come to the fundraiser as a guest to support the recovery effort.
"I was here to do shows and I chose not to cancel," she said.
"Why did I choose not to cancel I thought long and hard about it and it wasn't an easy decision to make. "I was in shock like everybody else in the world at the devastation here. "In the end I wanted to come and I gave my crew the option to deciding individually if they wanted to come and join us."
But fans among Tokyo's Australian expat community were going to be disappointed when she said she would not be performing at the sell-out dinner of more than 750 people."I will leave it in the capable hands of the people who are here, the few members of the Sydney symphony orchestra."
Ms Minogue is one of the few international stars to have not cancelled scheduled performances in Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster and will perform two sell out shows tonight and tomorrow night.
Ms Gillard announced at the dinner that the Government would offer 10 research and professional scholarships to Australians to study alongside colleagues in Japan whose communities had been affected by the disaster.
She said the Government would also conduct a feasibility study into a return program where young Japanese could come to Australia to teach Japanese in Australian schools.
"Australia also has a long tradition of student exchange with Japan," said the PM.
"Such exchanges help build strong and enduring bonds of friendship and collaboration. Another way to demonstrate friendship and understanding. The program will help fund travel, accommodation and tuition costs associated with living and studying in our country.
"In doing so, we hope to play a small part in the rebuilding of lives and communities."
"Tokyo....one more sleep till #AphroditeJapan.......LOL"
-Kylie via twitter