Produced by Filip Fortuna. Filmed by Rod Fitzgerald.
As well as infuriating nasal spray merchants and bees, Tokyo governor Yuri Koike's manifesto declaration of a war on hay fever last week was unsettling for markets. How exactly do you trade a general election when the opposition leader is ready to take on pollen?
The answers may come on Tuesday, when trading resumes after an illuminating three-day weekend of pre-campaign polls that suggested that what initially appeared a dangerous challenge to prime minister Shinzo Abe in this month's snap election may already be losing puff.
Critically, traders will find out today whether, as well as founding the Party of Hope earlier this month, Ms Koike will actually run. If she does not, say brokers, markets will assume status quo. The yen in particular, say currency strategists at NatWest Markets, will resume its current trajectory, and soften into the lower 110 to 115 range against the dollar from October to December.
So far, discretion has been the better part of valour for traders. The Topix, which closed last Friday within striking distance of the 1700 point line and a two-year high, has yet to behave like an index that sees much threat to Mr. Abe, his Abenomics programme, or the odds that he will be in power long enough to re-install Haruhiko Kuroda as Bank of Japan governor next April, and maintain its policy of holding rates on the 10-year JGB at around zero.
Neither Mr. Abe nor Miss Koike are in favour of immigration, meaning the labour market tightness remains a good bet. If only it were translating into serious wage inflation. The yen swaps market, say Morgan Stanley analysts, suggested that foreigners had placed some tentative early bets that Miss Koike could deliver a painful hit to Mr. Abe.
The release of the Party of Hope's manifesto last week, including a stance on monetary policy that was basically the same as that of Mr. Abe's ruling coalition, will probably see those positions unwound. Domestic players, said the same analysts, have yet to place any sizable bets on the election outcome.
If there is volatility coming, it will centre on what markets do when they decide both that they are not on the brink of a post-Abenomics era, and that Abenomics itself is running low on narratives.