Japan unveils new banknotes
April 16, 2019 | 12:29 PM
by Agencies
New Japanese bank-notes. Photo: Supplied

Tokyo: Japan has unveiled a series of new banknotes incorporating next-generation anti-counterfeiting technology according to the country’s Ministry of Finance.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said that three different banknotes would be revamped, the update marking the first change since 2004.

According to Aso, the new 10,000 yen bill will feature industrialist Eiichi Shibusawa. Known as "the father of Japanese capitalism", Shibusawa founded Japan's first modern bank, which is currently known as Mizuho Bank.

Meanwhile, the new 5,000 yen bill will feature legendary educator Umeko Tsudo, who gained international renown for promoting female education. She also founded Tsuda University, one of Japan’s most prestigious higher education institutions, in 1900.

The ministry stated that the new 1,000 yen bill will bear the image of the physician and bacteriologist Shibasaburo Kitasato, who helped discover a method to prevent diphtheria and tetanus. He also co-discovered the infectious agent that caused bubonic plague with Alexandre Yersin. In 1901, Kitasato would be nominated for the first annual Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

The other side of the new bill will feature Hokusai’s famous woodblock print ‘The Great Wave Off Kanagawa’.

The new bills will replace the ones that bear the images of reformist and educator Yukichi Fukuzawa, legendary author Ichiyo Higuchi, and bacteriologist Hideyo Noguchi. A new 500 yen coin will also be introduced.

The government's latest decision to issue new banknotes coincides with the beginning of the Japan's new Imperial era, Reiwa.

The new era will begin on 1 May when Crown Prince Naruhito ascends the throne. The new banknotes are expected to enter into circulation within a few years.

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