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World fans still in mourning for Michael Jackson

World fans still in mourning for Michael Jackson

Fans around the world were still in mourning Monday over Michael Jackson's death, and awaited word on any global memorial for the King of Pop.
"Which was the bigger step for mankind _ Apollo 11 or Michael's moonwalk?" asked Yoshiaki Sato, a Japanese scholar of American fiction and music, in an opinion piece in Monday's editions of the Yomiuri nationwide newspaper.
Jackson died Thursday in Los Angeles, where his supporters discussed the possibility of holding a global memorial, but nothing had been decided as of Monday. About 200 fans gathered for a candlelight vigil in a Tokyo park Saturday night.
"There is bound to be some kind of (global) event soon," Tower Records official Yasuo Toba said in Tokyo, adding that his company would definitely be interested in taking part. "He is one of the most influential artists of his time, and this mourning mood is going to continue for some time. Without him, the music industry wouldn't have been the same."
The U.S. won the Cold War not through military might but through the charm of artists like Jackson, Sato said, with his sound winning over people in the former Soviet states, the Middle East and China to the greatness of American culture.
"His death, like Presley's, may not have been fitting of a hero. But his life will shine on in world history," he said.
Television specials about Jackson dominated Japanese programming through the weekend. Special programming Monday showed him eating sushi during one of his Japan visits and blowing kisses to the crowd. The Japanese were some of his most loyal fans, and screaming crowds followed him in recent years when he visited Tokyo Disneyland and electronics stores.
"I called up my mom yesterday and we cried together," said Kaori Osawa, 27, who had gone to Jackson's 1987 Tokyo Dome concert with her mother, 54. "You can't tell if those scandals are true. And that has nothing to do with his talent as an artist."
Osawa was browsing through nearly barren CD shelves, set up for Jackson's works. Some stores had already sold out of some recordings and were awaiting more shipments.
"He had that special cool factor that everyone around the world could understand," Osawa said.
Mika Mifune, an actress and the daughter of actor Toshiro Mifune, said she refused to believe any of the negative reports about Jackson, such as his child molestation allegations and dependence on drugs.
"He has such a gentle voice," she said, breaking into tears in a TV show aired nationwide. "I have been a fan of his music since I was little."
Mourning continued in other Asian countries. In Malaysia, hundreds of fans gathered at a Kuala Lumpur shopping complex Sunday to sing along to Jackson songs and sign a banner with condolence messages, while Jackson impersonators performed.
Mohamed Raqeem Brian, senior program manager at hitz.fm, said the radio station would be keen to organize an event in conjunction with any global Jackson memorial but wouldn't hold any additional smaller events for fear of "overload."
Mohamed Raqeem said even in the Muslim-majority country, Jackson had a big following.
"Pretty much everywhere you go, you can hear people talk about it," he said.
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Associated Press writer Julia Zappei in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-04-17 07:38 GMT+08:00