Collector coins to fete shinkansen

Kyodo

Japan will mint silver ¥1,000 commemorative coins to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the shinkansen, the Finance Ministry said Friday.

“The shinkansen is an important social infrastructure supporting people’s lives and economic activities. We will commemorate the 50th anniversary of its launch on Oct. 1 this year,” Finance Minister Taro Aso said at a news conference.

The ministry said it will sell 50,000 of the coins — which bear the pictures of the original “0 Series” shinkansen, Mount Fuji covered with snow, and cherry blossoms — for ¥8,300 each, including a container and shipping costs.

Bullet train services began in 1964 between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations.

The government is trying to promote Japan’s high-speed railway technology overseas, touting its safety, punctuality and energy-efficiency.