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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Japan Issues New Banknotes in 20 Years


Wed 03 Jul 2024 | 11:50 AM
Israa Farhan

On Wednesday, Japan introduced its newly redesigned ¥10,000, ¥5,000, and ¥1,000 banknotes, incorporating cutting-edge anti-counterfeiting technology and featuring prominent historical figures.

The Bank of Japan plans to circulate ¥1.6 trillion ($9.9 billion) worth of these new banknotes on the first day alone, according to Governor Kazuo Ueda.

Governor Ueda, speaking at the central bank’s Currency Issue Department, emphasized the enduring importance of cash despite the rise of cashless transactions.

He expressed hope that the new banknotes would support the nation's economy by serving as a reliable means of payment.

Japan has seen significant growth in cashless payments, which tripled in the past decade to reach 39.3% in 2023, although this progress lags behind neighboring countries in Asia.

The new banknotes are designed to foster further economic stability.

The Bank of Japan's headquarters commenced operations an hour earlier than usual on Wednesday to facilitate the distribution of the new banknotes to financial institutions across the country.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, alongside Governor Ueda, inspected the Currency Issue Department, highlighting the user-friendly design of the banknotes, particularly for the visually impaired and foreign nationals.

Kishida praised the inclusion of historical figures symbolizing Japanese capitalism, women's empowerment, and scientific innovation, deeming them apt for the new era.

The redesigned banknotes feature entrepreneur Eiichi Shibusawa, education pioneer Umeko Tsuda, and bacteriologist Shibasaburo Kitasato.

The reverse sides showcase Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi Building, Japanese wisteria flowers, and ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.”

These banknotes are equipped with advanced anti-counterfeiting measures, including three-dimensional holographic patterns that reveal the portraits of the historical figures when tilted and enlarged Arabic numerals for easy denomination identification.

Japan’s last major redesign of its banknotes occurred 20 years ago, featuring philosopher Yukichi Fukuzawa, writer Ichiyo Higuchi, and bacteriologist Hideo Noguchi. Those banknotes remain legal tender.

Since issuing its first banknote in 1885, Japan has produced 53 different types of banknotes.