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Monday, April 26, 2010

World Expo Shanghai 2010 - Theme Song: A Challenge or Tribute?

The China government is busy in sending thousands of rescue officers together with food, water, medicine and supplements to QingHai after the horrible earthquakes happened on April 14, 2010, also busy in “decorating” this new wound before the opening of “World Expo Shanghai 2010” on May 1, 2010!

Within or beyond expectation, just two weeks before the opening, their theme song “Waiting you in 2010” (2010等你來) has sparkled this mega event. This is not the same case of Beijing Olympics 2008 during which 2 lovely little girls sang the theme song, one with an open identity while the other one was the hidden-singer. This Expo song is presented by various movie-stars, pop-stars and sports-stars from Hong Kong and China.

It was reported that this Expo song is actually a copyright infringed from a Japanese song “Sonomama no Kimi de ite” (不變的你就好) sung by Maya Okamoto in 1996, 15 years ago! A Singaporean composer has compared and commented these two songs that the Chinese one is 97% identical to the Japanese one.

It is widely recognized that the “copyright” issues in China still has room for improvement, this case is particularly interesting and impressive as it may turn out to be a cultural or diplomatic issue.

After the first Expo being held in London in 1851, it is China’s first time to hold the Expo just 2 years after the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Similarly, Japan held its first Expo in 1970 (the second and third time were at 1985 and 2005) which was 6 years after its Tokyo Olympics in 1964. Needless to say, being a host of Expo is an excellent chance to showcase its power as well as to seek for international recognition. Obviously, China seems more powerful, or aggressive as it only requires 2 years to host Expo while Japan made it after 6 years.

In that case, is this new Chinese theme song a “challenge” or simply a “tribute” from Chinese to Japanese? If it is a “challenge”, is it a soft declaration of China’s upgrading international status? If it is a “tribute”, is it a token for appreciation of the Japanese pop-culture?

Nevertheless, it may be a fabulous idea if the Chinese government invites that Japanese singer to present their theme song on its opening …

The “original” Japanese song:

The “revised” Expo theme song:

The “comparison” or “mixed” version of Japanese & Chinese song:

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