• Kyodo

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Japan will begin issuing newly redesigned ¥500 coins from around November, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday, after their initial release in the first half of the fiscal year from April was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new ¥500 coins, minted in two colors to prevent counterfeiting, are the first redesign since 2000.

The ministry in January postponed issuance of the new coins due to delayed updates to ticket and automated teller machines amid the pandemic.

While the ministry plans to mint around 200 million of the new coins in fiscal 2021, the approximately 5 billion coins currently in circulation will still be usable.

The new coins, which do not differ substantially from the current design, feature etchings on the inner rim.

The government also plans to release new banknotes in 2024, the first redesign since 2004, featuring figures from Japan’s modern history such as Eiichi Shibusawa (1840-1931), widely known as the “father of Japanese capitalism.”

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