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'PPAP' Japan comedian Pikotaro shows support for kids with cancer in video message

Pikotaro is seen in a YouTube video sending a message of support for children struggling with cancer.

TOKYO -- Comedian Pikotaro, known for his comical hit song "PPAP" which spawned the catchphrase "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen," has released a video on YouTube in support of children who are struggling with illnesses including cancer during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Pikotaro said in the video, "We shouldn't be overwhelmed by the coronavirus, illness and other difficulties. Together with me, let's do our best."

In February, Pikotaro performed live at a charity concert in support of children with cancer. Because he is popular with kids, the Japan Children's Cancer Group (JCCG), which consists of doctors specializing in pediatric cancer, asked him to create a video message.

According to the JCCG, cancer treatment weakens patients' immune systems, making them more susceptible to infections. As a result, visitations for children in some hospitals are being restricted. Soichi Adachi, the chief director of the JCCG, said, "There are children and families who are feeling lonely and anxious due to restrictions on coming in contact with others. We are really thankful for his message."

In early April, Pikotaro uploaded another of his eccentric videos to YouTube, in which he demonstrated how to properly wash one's hands along to music. In his latest video, Pikotaro calls on children fighting illness, "Let's smile, wash and dance together."

(Japanese original by Asako Takeuchi, City News Department)

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