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The Mint Museum of the Finance Ministry’s Mint Bureau will be moved from Osaka’s Kita Ward to the old site of the Osaka Arsenal on the grounds of Osaka Castle Park in Chuo Ward.

At present, the museum keeps about 20,000 valuable coins, medals and decorations, both from Japan and abroad, including “Wado-Kaichin” coins produced in the eighth century and period gold coins, according to mint officials.

The Mint Bureau has earmarked about 1 billion yen in a 1999 budget plan to purchase a tract of land and move the Mint Museum by 2001, the 130th anniversary of the bureau’s opening.

The bureau plans to refurbish the Osaka Arsenal, a two-story red brick building that formerly housed an ordnance factory before and during World War II, prior to the museum’s move. The structure was built in 1919 and now houses a chemical analysis center.

The museum opened in 1969 and has about 50,000 visitors a year. However, its current site is small and lacks elevators and other conveniences.

The site of the old arsenal is located near the dungeon of Osaka Castle, which attracts some 1.6 million tourists a year and is a convenient stop on public transportation routes.

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