Unpopular 2,000-Yen Bill Battles for Survival

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 16 (Jiji Press)--Despite a much-heralded debut 18 years ago, 2,000-yen bills failed to find wide appeal, leaving them seldom sighted recently.

The number of 2,000-yen bills in circulation accounts for a paltry 0.7 pct of all bank notes in use in Japan.

"They're very unpopular," a clerk at a Tokyo branch of a megabank said of the bills. The few requests for exchange include those by women who want their children to examine them during the summer vacation, according to the clerk.

The 2,000-yen bill was launched in July 2000, when Japan hosted a Group of Eight summit in the Kyushu southwestern region and Okinawa Prefecture. It is the brainchild of former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, who laid the groundwork for bringing the summit to Okinawa but died earlier that year.

According to the Bank of Japan, a total of 880 million 2,000-yen bills had been issued by fiscal 2003. The amount in circulation peaked at some 500 million in 2004 and has stood slightly below 100 million in recent years, even fewer than some 200 million for the 500-yen bill, which has not been issued for 24 years.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press