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Work starts on two pavilions

CONSTRUCTION began yesterday on the Dutch and Japanese pavilions for the World Expo 2010.

The 5,000-square-meter Dutch Pavilion, known as Happy Street, comprises 17 small elevated houses. The houses will line a pedestrian street that curves in a figure of eight, a lucky number in China suggesting fortune.

Each house will feature an exhibition exploring themes such as energy, water, space and other urban issues.

Dutch organizers hope to attract 5 to 10 percent of the 70 million visitors expected at the Expo, which means about 2,400 visitors will walk down Happy Street per hour.

The Dutch Pavilion will be completed before November.

"We want the pavilion to be one of the top 10 best pavilions in the Expo site," said Walter van Weelden, Holland's commissioner general for the Expo.

Meanwhile, Japan will highlight the role of advanced ecological technology in helping humans achieve a more comfortable life with its "breathing organism" pavilion. The Japan Pavilion will be on a 6,000-square-meter plot. The total budget for the pavilion is 13 billion yen (US$132.91 million).

"I hope China and Japan will have deep exchanges throughout the World Expo," Yasuo Fukuda, former Japanese prime minister, told Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng.

Han said Japan had shared its experiences of hosting five World Expos with Shanghai.

About 40 participating countries are expected to build national pavilions for the Expo. France, Germany, Luxembourg and Australia have already broken ground. The organizer expects all the pavilions to be finished by the end of the year.


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