Buyers of new bonds to get special coin at term maturity

Kyodo

Japan began selling special government bonds Monday aimed at raising funds for reconstruction from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, saying it will present buyers with commemorative gold coins imprinted with an image of the “miracle pine” that survived the killer tsunami when the bonds mature in three years.

The coins — worth ¥10,000 each, and silver coins worth ¥1,000 — are engraved with the design of the 30-meter-high pine in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, that was the only one of about 70,000 pines on a stretch of coast to survive the massive tsunami.

One gold coin will be handed out per ¥10 million worth of bond holdings as of April 15, 2015, the Finance Ministry said. One ¥1,000 silver coin will be offered for every ¥1 million in bonds.

The first round of the special bonds for individuals will be sold until March 30 with an interest rate of 0.05 percent for the first three years. The ministry said it will eventually issue similar bonds with special coins three more times.