Popular American hip-hop group and Grammy Award-winning Black Eyed Peas's Will.i.am interacted with student volunteers at a special event in Aoba-ku, Sendai on December 15, 2011.
Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, about 500 students from all around the prefecture participated. During the Q&A, one student asked Will.i.am, "How do you feel you can support the affected people?", Will.i.am responded, talking about how the "positive, friendly face of the Japanese made the world proud," and advising them to treasure the Japanese culture.
After playing a medley of his own songs, he showed off by improvising a Sendai-themed song alongside Monkey Majik's Blaise Plant, an artist who currently resides in Sendai, which drew applause [Blaise said it was a rap].
"I feel inspired through my interaction with the young and energetic generation of Touhoku. I want to return to the United States and get back to composing songs," Will.i.am revealed. Participant Takenohara Satomi of Tohoku University (21) was all smiles while commenting, "I was encouraged by hearing Will.i.am's words and music".
A little bonus humour from Will.i.am's Twitter
This seems to be part of a special initiative on the part of the US Embassy called Tomodachi to improve relations with Japan (there's currently huge anti-American sentiment because of the American base in Okinawa) as well as encourage the people of the Touhoku region during this difficult time. Based on the photo and comments posted by Blaise Plant on his Twitter it appears that they were filmed as Blaise showed Will.i.am around Sendai.
Oh, and GO CANADA! (Blaise is Canadian)