Japan starts printing new banknotes

Japan has started printing new 10,000 yen banknotes which are expected to enter circulation in the first half of fiscal 2024.

A ceremony was held on Wednesday at a plant of the National Printing Bureau in Tokyo to commemorate the start of printing. Finance Minister Aso Taro attended.

The new note features Shibusawa Eiichi, a famed industrialist in modern Japan. He is known as the "father of Japanese capitalism." The reverse side features the Tokyo Station building.

The banknote is the first to incorporate a new kind of holograms to make it difficult to counterfeit. The bill also features new, high-definition watermark patterns.

It has an uneven thickness to help people with visual impairment identify it by touch. The figure 10,000 is printed in a large font to make it easier to read.

Aso said the note is appropriate for the era as it incorporates state-of-the-art technologies to prevent counterfeiting and its design makes it easy for everyone to use.

The finance ministry says printing of new 1,000 yen and 5,000 yen notes will begin around the autumn this year.

They are expected to enter circulation in the first half of fiscal 2024 after modifications to ATMs and other machines are completed.