Michael Jackson visits Tokyo Orphanage
Michael Jackson, center, hugs his daughter Paris, at an orphanage
gymnasium in Tokyo Sunday, May 28, 2006.
His visit to Japan is the first leg of an Asian swing that will include stops in Singapore; Shanghai, China; and Hong Kong.
After weaving through dozens of screaming adult fans outside the downtown orphanage, Jackson was ushered into a gymnasium, where more than 160 children between the ages of 3 and 18 and nuns in gray uniforms waited.
"I love you," Jackson told the cheering crowd. Then he whispered to his translator, apparently asking how to say the phrase in Japanese.
Then he said: "Aishiteru!"
TOKYO (Reuters) – Pop star Michael Jackson visited a Tokyo children’s home on Sunday and told a group of 140 excited children "I love you" in Japanese.
The 47-year-old entertainer, who appeared in public on Saturday to receive a music award, was greeted by about 100 fans as he arrived in a black van.
Inside the Seibi Gakuen children’s home, Jackson watched a 15-minute performance of traditional music and dance by children in kimonos before speaking briefly on stage.
"I’m very happy to be here," said Jackson, wearing sunglasses and a white T-shirt under a black double-breasted suit with gold buttons and a single red armband.
"I’m happy to be with you lovely people," he told an auditorium of 140 children, ages 2-18. In Japanese, he said "Aishiteru," meaning I love you.
Smiling, he later shook hands and signed autographs for the children, who called out "Michael, Michael" and tugged at his sleeve.
"He is very tall and very cool-looking. I don’t know his songs but I’ve seen him dance on television," Eiho Omori, 13, said.
Teachers at the children’s home said they were surprised when they had heard Jackson would be visiting.
"Everyone couldn’t believe such a big international star was visiting us," said Kiyoko Mito, headmistress of the Christian-run school.
"The children only believed me after seeing the news yesterday that Michael Jackson was actually in Japan," she said.
Jackson’s trip to Japan is the first in a series of planned visits to Asia.