On 25 September, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a speech and rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. His aim was to promote US investment as a part of his economic reform plans known as “Abenomics.”

However, the highlight of the speech came towards the end when he mentioned the heavy metal band Metallica and their hit song Enter Sandman while discussing Japan’s future and the Tokyo Olympics. While this may have seemed perfectly innocent at first, this name-drop may have hurt the PM’s standing in the metal community with previous supporters now wondering if Abe is, in fact, a “poser” – someone who only acts like they know about metal.

The Metallica mention came at the end of a speech during which the prime minister spent much of the time comparing Japan’s resurgence in the marketplace to that of Gordon Gekko’s release from prison in the sequel to Wall Street.

“The Tokyo Olympics brought a period of high growth to Japan 49 years ago, and seven years from now we look forward to it again with great excitement. It feels just like the thundering of Metallica playing ‘Enter Sandman’ at Yankee Stadium.”

Upon mentioning the thrash metal band, several eyebrows cocked in unison. Is Abe the Master of Puppets, pulling our strings, twisting our minds, and smashing our dreams?

Apparently not. As gleaned by the “Yankee Stadium” reference, the Prime Minister seems to have become aware of the band only three days earlier. On 22 September Yankee Stadium hosted the retirement ceremony of future hall of fame pitcher Mariano Rivera, nicknamed The Sandman. During the ceremony, Metallica played “Enter Sandman”, Rivera’s entrance theme, live to honor the Yankee pitcher.

So it would appear PM Abe’s reference to “Enter Sandman” was not out of love for metal, but as a way to tug at the hearts of New Yorkers. If proven in court this could make Shinzo Abe a convicted poser.

Being branded a “poser” can be grounds for impeachment in Japanese politics if opposition parties in the wish to pursue it. Such a move would lead to trial in which Abe must name five Metallica songs without hesitating and then name the bass player on each one (hesitation allowed). Failure to do so will see him ejected from Parliament and RRRRRRRROFF TO NEVER NEVER LANDAH!

Source: Prime Minister Abe’s NYSE Speech Video and Transcript (Japanese)
Videos: YouTube – SeBa S Araujo, Metallica TV
Abe Image: Wikipedia –

[ Read in Japanese ]