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A business op for desi democracy

Japanese entrepreneurs cash in on canned air of royalty.

ET Bureau|
Apr 25, 2019, 08.38 AM IST
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Agencies
Chrysanthemum Throne,
The Land of the Rising Sun, which is a titular monarchy, will on April 30 this year see a new Emperor accede to Chrysanthemum Throne.
Thanks to the so-called ‘dynasty raj’ that holds so much sway over India’s political sphere, we are all too familiar with ‘heirs apparent’ to public gaddis. Japan, however, is abuzz with what might be called an ‘air apparent’ of dynastic rule. The Land of the Rising Sun, which is a titular monarchy, will on April 30 this year see a new Emperor accede to Chrysanthemum Throne, when the current occupant of the office, Akihito, abdicates, as announced by the country’s parliament, in favour of his son, Naruhito. With Akihito’s stepping down after a 30-year constitutional rule, it will be the end of the era of Heisei.

Cashing in on this Japanese variant of The Game of Thrones. a local company is breezily marketing cans filled with ‘the air of the outgoing era’. Pricing them at the equivalent of $10 a pop, the promoters are hoping to sell as many as a thousand cans. Explaining his sales strategy, the president of the company said that “we hope people will enjoy breathing the air of Heisei after the new era comes, or just keep it as a memento”. In the midst of Election 2019, desi enterprise might take a tip from Japan and can the blowing hawa of change, expletives undeleted, to give souvenir-hunters a whiff of democracy, desi-style, in the form of air-oma therapy. There should be enough consumers, strong of stomach.
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