Japanese Girl-Band Wants You (To Buy Japanese Government Bonds)
Whether it was Captain America's roadshow or Uncle-Sam 'wanting' your help, the US always seemed to maintain some semblance of class when propagandizing its citizens into buying its government bonds. Whether for patriotic or xenophobic reasons, it appeared to work. Japan, though, with its increasingly desperate demographic situation, deficits, downgrades, and well, general malaise of Koo/Keynesian-stuffed economic stagnation has turned to the next best thing - the all-girl band AKB48. As The Telegraph notes today, the all-female pop group will headline a summer campaign for "reconstruction bonds" aimed at financing projects in regions hammered by last year's quake-tsunami disaster. The debt campaign will see AKB48 - comprising about 90 performers, ranging in age from early teens to mid-20s - joined by sumo wrestling's champion Hakuho and female football star Homare Sawa, Japan's Jiji press agency reported. The group's bubblegum pop and synchronized dancing has proved a huge hit with young girls. Perhaps more disturbingly (and why Japan chose them maybe?) - running the gamut from girl-next-door to sultry temptress, the band also has a substantial male following - many of whom are older - who support a vast merchandising industry. Japan has the industrialized world's worst public debt, amounting to more than twice its gross domestic product - topping hard-hit eurozone countries including Greece, which have drawn fire from foreign investors over their fiscal management. On the bright side, AKB48 have also promoted the government's suicide prevention program and appeared in a farm ministry rice campaign.
All of this makes us wonder - Forget AKB48, how long until AK47 in musical, or primarily otherwise, format is used to encourage lending to sovereigns all around the "developed" world?