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J-pop song finds new life in China, a decade on

Avex to release Chinese version of the staple wedding song

Long Meng Rou, left, who sings the Chinese version of "Planet," stands with the original Japanese composer, Shinjiro Inoue. (Photo by Daisuke Harashima)

SHANGHAI -- The Chinese public's recent embrace of a decade-old J-pop song has spurred a local remix sung by a star known as a doppelganger of a popular Japanese actress, in a pop culture bridge that travels both ways.

The ballad "Planet" originally was a bonus track on a CD single by the Japanese duo Lambsey, which has since dissolved. With no apparent promotion in China, the song went viral last summer through video streaming app Douyin, played close to 6 million times. The song is often used in videos shown at weddings.

A Chinese version of the song is set for release on Wednesday by Japanese record-label company Avex Group Holdings. It is performed by Long Meng Rou, a Chinese reality television contest winner who gained wide attention for her resemblance to actress Yui Aragaki.

The Hunan Province native's self-posted photos on social media have created a buzz among the Japanese public. She has appeared in commercials and dramas in Japan.

Long sang enthusiastically for a crowd of about 1,000 people here Tuesday at an event promoting the release of the remix. She shared the stage with Shinjiro Inoue, the former member of Lambsey who composed the song.

Japanese pop culture enjoys only a limited presence in China compared with K-pop from South Korea, and most of the interest in J-pop focuses on anime songs. Inoue expressed hope that the remix serves as a bridge between the Chinese and Japanese music industries.

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