Japanese girl group links economy to their hemlines

Forget love songs, Machikado Keiki Japan is making a name for itself by crooning about financial and stock market issues.

By Bruce Kennedy Apr 30, 2013 7:27AM

Japan's new girl group Machikado Keiki☆JAPAN (© Machikado Keiki☆JAPAN via Facebook)Madonna may have sung about being a material girl, but that was decades ago. And can you imagine a Justin Bieber ballad about currency fluctuations? Or Lady Gaga warbling about the debt ceiling?

This just goes to show how different things can be in Japan. In a country overrun with pop singers and teen idols, one girl group is standing out from the crowd by ignoring love songs and focusing on national economics. It's also tying the length of their skirts to the rise and fall of the Nikkei Index ($JP:N225).

The group is called Machikado Keiki Japan -- which Tokyo-based website RocketNews 24 says translates into English as "Street Corner Conditions Japan."

Machikado is apparently a big supporter of what's being called "Abenomics" -- the term some observers use to describe the dramatic government stimulus and money printing recently implemented by Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

After decades of economic doldrums, not to mention the financial blow Japan took from the 2011 triple disaster of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown, Abenomics is apparently having some benefits. According to CNNMoney, the International Monetary Fund has given its blessing to Abe's economic plan.

Meanwhile, the yen has depreciated, the Japanese market for luxury goods is reviving, consumer confidence is up and the Nikkei stock index is rising, which means the girls in Machikado are showing more leg as they sing and dance to such catchy lyrics as, according to Reuters:

Monetary easing, construction bonds!

Let's revise the Bank of Japan Law!

Let's aim for 3% economic growth!

Abe bubble – let's go!

Yes, sex sells. But RocketNews 24 says the connection between skirt length in Japan and the national economy also has some historic precedents. Miniskirts were big in Japan -- and elsewhere -- during the go-go 1960s. "But then, with the oil crisis of 1973," the website notes, "miniskirts saw a definite decline from fashion trends, only to surge back into the mainstream in the 1980s, with the disco boom and an unprecedented economic bubble."

Reuters noted that Machikado has a very bullish near-term target of 15,000 for the Nikkei. That could get more Japanese singing a happy tune.

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