By now you are probably familiar with the efforts Irish rocker Bono has made to boost aid to Africa. He’s recruited the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Ashley Judd, Penelope Cruz, Matt Damon, Edward Burns, Christy Turlington, and many other members of Hollywood’s A-list, but it seems that’s not enough for the rock star turned anti-poverty activist. Now Bono is calling on world leaders to lend a hand to people of developing countries.
According to news reports, Bono spent a good part of Wednesday urging Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to keep his nation’s pledge to aid Africa and other parts of the developing world.
“Some countries make promises and they don’t keep them. Japan, we trust to fulfill their promise,” Bono, told reporters after meeting with Abe.
The popular rocker is currently in Japan performing with the rest of his U2 band members during their “Vertigo 2006” tour. Reports say the singer took time off yesterday to convince Abe that it is “vital that Japan continue efforts to help the developing world,” despite budgetary constraints in Tokyo.
To show his appreciation to the Japanese Prime Minister’s for pledging aid, Bono presented Abe with a pair of his trademark Giorgio Armani sunglasses, which are sold to raise funds for his anti-AIDS campaign.
According to reporters, Abe not only accepted them, but also tried them on in front a crowd of on-lookers, much to the surprise of the Irish rocker.
“I’ve always seen George Bush looking at my sunglasses like this but George Bush never put them on,” Bono said. “The last pope, John Paul, he put them on and Prime Minister Abe. Very cool!”
It was Abe who vowed before and during the 2005 G-8 summit in Scotland to spend billions of dollars more in aid on Africa and on development assistance overall. Bono said that news is what prompted his visit with Abe. In addition to giving the Japanese leader the sunglasses, Bono also praised the government’s aid for lifting many Asian countries from poverty and said “there is a lot we can learn from Japan in applying to the rest of the developing world.”