YouTube star Piko Taro performed a version of his quirky hit song "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen" at the United Nations on Monday to promote the organization's Sustainable Development Goals toward eradicating poverty and inequality.
He appeared at a reception hosted by the Japanese delegation and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of a U.N. political forum on SDGs, which Kishida promised Japan would implement "rigorously" for the sake of "a world that leaves no one behind."
"The mainstreaming of SDGs is essential toward a full implementation," Kishida said. "It is my strong desire that everyone in Japan and the world, regardless of age or gender, becomes familiar with SDGs."
Earlier this month, Piko Taro released a promotional video to publicize the development goals in Japan, with the letters of his PPAP song repurposed as "Public-Private Action for Partnership."
The new version underscores key concepts of the SDGs, which set numerical targets to be reached by 2030 in 17 fields including poverty, health and education. The goals were adopted at a U.N. summit in 2015.
Wearing his signature leopard-print scarf and sunglasses, Piko Taro followed Kishida's remarks with a solo performance of the original song, then sang the revised version with schoolchildren from the United Nations International School joining him on stage.
"I have a pen, I have a book," he sang, switching out his pineapple lyric. Bringing together the imaginary pen and learning materials with his customary grunt -- which in this case carried the double meaning of "U.N." -- yielded "education" rather than skewered fruit.
Similarly, he mimed bringing together "apple" and "pineapple" to fight poverty.
The Japanese comedian, whose real name is Kazuhito Kosaka, gained international popularity for his 45-second viral hit released in 2016. It was subsequently recognized by Guinness World Records as the shortest song to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
After the performance, Japanese Ambassador Koro Bessho gave a toast "to our determination and desire to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030."
Bessho also wished the comedian, who turned 44 on the day of the event, a happy birthday.