Japan starts minting redesigned ¥500 coin

The government has started minting a newly designed ¥500 coin for circulation beginning in November.

It is the third generation of the country’s ¥500 coin that was first issued in 1982. It was last redesigned in 2000.

Nickel brass, cupronickel and copper are used in the new bicolor coin, while the current single-color one is made of nickel brass. The introduction of the bicolor clad technology is part of efforts to prevent counterfeiting.

“It’s extremely important to have coins that can’t be forged,” Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters after a ceremony to mark the start of the minting of the new ¥500 coin in Saitama on Monday.

The government plans to issue 200 million of the new ¥500 coins in fiscal 2021, which started in April.

It initially planned to put the new coin into circulation sometime between April and September, but postponed the schedule due to a delay in modifying automated teller machines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current ¥500 coin will remain in use after the new one is launched.

The government also plans to redesign the ¥10,000, ¥5,000 and ¥1,000 bills in the first half of fiscal 2024.

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