Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Japan taps pop idols to sell bonds: reports
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) May 25, 2012

Japan's cash-strapped government is turning to wildly popular music group AKB48 to help it sell government bonds, as interest in the low-yield paper wanes, reports said Friday.

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 Wall Street Journal said, citing an unnamed source.

AKB48, one of the world's highest-grossing acts with more than $200 million in CD and DVD sales last year, are a phenomenon in Japan and across Asia, with members appearing in commercials for everything from chocolate to mobile phones.

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 synchronised dancing has proved a huge hit with pre-pubescent girls.

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.

However it stirred controversy after a commercial aired in March showing group members passing bite-sized candies seductively from mouth-to-mouth, sparking cries it promoted homosexuality.

The finance ministry has previously relied on celebrities to push Japan's government bonds, with a 2010 campaign suggesting that public debt-buying men may attract the opposite sex.

Japan has the industrialised 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.

But the yield, or interest rate, on Japan's bonds is low with over 95 percent of the national debt held by long-term, domestic investors.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year bond stood at just 0.880 percent on Friday, a relatively unattractive return.

AKB48 have also promoted the government's suicide prevention programme and appeared in a farm ministry rice campaign.


Related Links
Global Trade News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

China challenges US trade duties
Geneva (AFP) May 25, 2012
China signaled on Friday it will challenge anti-subsidy duties imposed by the United States on 22 products Washington deems to be unfairly subsidised by Beijing. "On May 25 China brings 22 countervailing measures applied by the United States to the WTO dispute settlement body (DSB) and requests for consultation," said a statement issued by China's Permanent Mission to World Trade Organizatio ... read more

Outside View: Refugees forever?

Spain cuts aid to Caribbean, S. America

Italy quake survivors urged to return home

Research Opens Doors To UV Disinfection Using LED Technology

Dish Network in US legal fight over ad-skipping

'Monkey' to go West again as cinema power shifts East

Yahoo! ditches digital newsstand for iPads

Laser scan at full speed

Thousands of shellfish found dead in Peru

Latest Southern Ocean research shows continuing deep ocean change

Swiss ultralight trikes used to explore Lake Baikal

Marine reserves boost fish: Australian study

New Study by WHOI Scientists Provides Baseline Measurements of Carbon in Arctic Ocean

Illuminating the Ancient History of Circumarctic Peoples

Toxic mercury, accumulating in the Arctic, springs from a hidden source

Russia's Antarctic probes to be tested in Ladoga Lake

Blossom end rot plummets in Purdue-developed transgenic tomato

Where bees are, there will be honey even pre-historic

Financial tool considered climate change uncertainty to select land for conservation

How plants chill out

Mexico on alert as hurricane Bud gathers force

Hurricane Bud weakens on approach to Mexico

Death toll from Afghan flood hits 50: official

NOAA: 2012 sees normal hurricane season

Former G.Bissau army chief, minister flee

G. Bissau army to return to barracks

Somali, AU troops close in on Islamist stronghold of Afgoye

45 Chinese arrested for illegal trading in Nigeria: official

Chimpanzees have human-like personalities

Urban landscape's power to hurt or heal

Anthropologists discover earliest form of wall art

Evolution's gift may also be at the root of a form of autism

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement