Japan to introduce new bank notes as Reiwa era starts

The Government of Japan is intending to introduce new ten-thousand-yen, five-thousand-yen, and one-thousand-yen bills within next few years. The designs of Japanese banknotes are changed on a regular basis to incorporate new anti-counterfeiting features.

The government’s latest decision to issue new notes comes just ahead of the start of the new Imperial era, Reiwa. It will begin on May 1 when Crown Prince Naruhito ascends to the throne.

The design changes will be the first since 2004. The new banknotes are expected to enter into circulation a few years later.

The current ten-thousand-yen, five-thousand-yen and one-thousand-yen bills bear the portraits of Yukichi Fukuzawa, Ichiyo Higuchi, and Hideyo Noguchi, respectively.

The government is thinking about replacing them with Eiichi Shibusawa, a famed industrialist in modern Japan; Umeko Tsuda, an educator who was devoted to educating women in Japan; and Shibasaburo Kitasato, a bacteriologist.

Under the plan, the government will also replace the five-hundred-yen coin with a new one, but will keep the current two-thousand-yen bill in circulation as well.