2,000 yen bill set to enter the fold on July 19

The 2,000 yen bill will be introduced July 19, two days before the Group of Eight leaders begin their summit in Okinawa.

The bank note, intended to mark the year 2000 and the country’s hosting of the summit, will circulate with an initial print run of 100 million.

Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa said he suggested to ministry officials that one of the bank notes be handed to former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, who initiated the 2,000 yen bill project in October and insisted that the bill be issued in time for the summit. Obuchi suffered a massive stroke early this month and remains in a coma.

The front of the bill features an illustration of the Shureimon Gate at Shuri Castle in Naha, a symbol of Okinawa Prefecture. The back features an illustration from the “Tale of Genji,” a classic romance novel written by Murasaki Shikibu nearly 1,000 years ago.

State-of-the-art technology was used for the watermark and lettering to prevent forgery.