• Kyodo


A noodle shop here has started selling ramen at a price that fluctuates depending on the support rate of Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori.

The shop, Ganta, started selling the formerly 400 yen ramen — aptly called “Prime Minister Mori’s excuse ramen” — at 125 yen on June 1, based on the abysmal support rate of Mori’s Cabinet in an opinion poll that day by a commercial television station.

Although the price rebounded to 229 yen at one time based on ensuing polls taken by five newspapers, it had dropped again to 125 yen as of last Saturday.

Shop owner Akihiro Iwata said he came up with the idea after Mori’s controversial remark last month that Japan is a “divine nation centering on the Emperor.”

“With this ramen as a trigger, I hope more young people will take an interest in politics, although a support rate this low makes it impossible for me to make both ends meet,” said Iwata, who vows to keep the ramen campaign through the June 25 general election day.

A 28-year-old woman who dropped in at the shop on her way home from work said, “With due respect to the prime minister, I hope his support rate will remain low.”