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Japan Issues 3 New Banknotes

Japan issues 3 new banknotes

Japan introduced its first new banknotes in two decades on Wednesday, incorporating advanced 3D hologram technology to enhance security against counterfeiting, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced. The issuance of the new 10,000 yen, 5,000 yen, and 1,000 yen bills was celebrated for their cutting-edge anti-counterfeit features, marking a historic advancement in Japan’s currency technology.

Speaking at the Bank of Japan, Prime Minister Kishida expressed hope that the new bills would be well-received by the public and contribute to revitalizing the Japanese economy. Despite their modern features, existing currency will remain valid, as older bills are still necessary for most vending machines and public transportation fares, according to local media reports.

Each denomination of the new banknotes features prominent figures symbolizing Japanese achievements and values. The 10,000 yen bill showcases Eiichi Shibusawa, known as “the father of Japanese capitalism,” who played a pivotal role in Japan’s economic development by founding numerous companies. The 5,000 yen note highlights Umeko Tsuda, a trailblazing feminist and educator who established a renowned women’s college. On the 1,000 yen bill is Shibasaburo Kitasato, a distinguished physician and bacteriologist renowned for his contributions to medical research on tetanus and the bubonic plague.

The reverse sides of the new bills depict iconic Japanese imagery, including Tokyo Station, wisteria flowers, and Mount Fuji as depicted by ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai. The bills also feature larger print to aid readability, particularly beneficial for Japan’s aging population.

According to government plans, nearly 7.5 billion new banknotes will be printed by the end of March next year, with an estimated daily circulation value of 1.6 trillion yen (approximately $10 billion). Distribution will initially prioritize banks and financial institutions before reaching automatic teller machines and retail outlets nationwide.

Despite global trends favoring cashless transactions, Japan remains reliant on cash for the majority of transactions. Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda emphasized the continued importance of cash for secure and convenient payments, underscoring Japan’s unique financial landscape amidst slower adoption of cashless technologies compared to other countries.

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