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Japan has many popular idol bands such SMAP, Morning Musume and AKB48. Most of these bands sing about love and school life, so to have a band that sings about the economy is very rare. ADVFN met with the all-girl band “Machikado Keiki Japan”, which roughly translated means “Street Corner Economists Japan” for an exclusive interview and found that this band is different from the rest – they are big Abenomics fans
The term “Abenomics” was coined to sum up Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new economic growth program. This term is a mix between the Presidents last name (Abe) and the word “economics” and just like its famous ancestor Reaganomic it is a daring economic program to turn around the economic fortunes of a nation.
Abenomics is the umbrella term for Japan Prime Minister Abe’s plans of money printing (QE), unlimited public spending, deregulation and economic restructuring. His policies thus far have had positive effect on the economy, which has seen the Nikkei rise to levels that haven’t been seen since before the Global Financial Crisis that began near the end of 2008.
To give an introduction to the four-girl band, the youngest is 16, and the oldest is 23. The band leader, Sakura Yuki, is 20 years old and currently studying at Tokyo University, which is one of the top universities in Japan.
Before the band was formed, none of the band members had an active interest in finance. They openly admitted that they didn’t even know what Abenomics was. However, when the band started performing and started interviewing with both national and international news agencies, they started to become interested in the markets.
Now, every day they follow the business and economic news to see what’s going on and understand what kind of an effect it will have on the market that day.
Hearing the band talk like this, it goes without saying that their goal is to get people like themselves who had no idea about the market to get interested in it.
The group’s stage debut was on April 7th, 2013, and the band says that they would like to support the Japanese economy while it rides the wave that Abenomic economic policies are creating.
The band have released three singles to date, their lead single is titled “Abenomix”, which features unique lyrics such as:
“Monetary Easing, construction bonds!
Let’s revise the Bank of Japan law!
Let’s aim for 3% economic growth!
Abe bubble – let’s go!”
Not only are they known for singing songs about supporting the economy, they are also known for their “fan service”. For every 1,000 points the market rises, they raise the level of their skirts. They say that this is a reflection of the heydays of the 60’s and ‘80’s where women used to wear short skirts when they were partying.
So to give you an idea of the length that their skirts go to, when the Nikkei goes below 9,000 they wear long skirts; when the Nikkei ranges between 10,000 – 11,000 the skirts were at a medium-length, and when the Nikkei is between 11,000 to 13,000, they wear mini-skirts.
When the Nikkei went to 15,000, not only did they wear French underwear during their performances, they also gave out 1,000 cakes to passersby in Akiharbara.
Their inspiration for doing this was the word cake in Japanese (Kei-ki) sounds very similar to the word for economy “keiki” and the word for “rise” sounds very like the word “to give.” As another part of their “fan service” plans, if the Nikkei goes over 20,000, they will invite Prime Minister Abe to join them on stage as one of the band members.
We also asked them if they had an interested in investing, they said they did, but had no resources to do so at this point in time. However, they have ideas of which sectors they would like to invest when they have the opportunity to do so. Tech and online gaming stocks such as Gungho (JQS: 3765) were at the top of the list, and stocks supporting cool biz initiatives such as Fast Retailing (aka Uniqlo, TSE: 9983) also peaked their interest, although they admit that Fast Retailing and Gungho in particular had high notional prices equivalent to $12,000 a share and were a little out of the range of a first time investor.
As for people in the finance industry that inspire them, the band leader pointed to Gustav Stresemann, who was responsible for hyperinflation of the German Mark back in the 1920s. She really hopes that inflation can come to Japan as it would help stimulate the economy, but not as much as it was in Germany back them.
Regarding other inspirational figures, we asked them if they looked up to the Japan Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. They said it wasn’t a matter of looking up to him or not, it was more a matter of them supporting his policies and wanting him to keep doing what he is doing.
As for their prediction of where the Nikkei will be at the end of this year, they would like it to go to above 20,000, but with the current market correction and uncertainty going on at the moment, they say that they have to have their fingers crossed to make this happen!
Seeing as this was an exclusive interview for ADVFN, we asked the band if they had any special words for the ADVFN users. They responded by saying “Whenever you think of the economy and wherever you see the stocks rising, we want to you think “I wonder what’s up with those Machikado Keiki girls right now”.
Well, if you are ever wondering what the Machikado Keiki girls are up to, you can always follow them on their Facebook page!
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