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2,000-yen bills prove popular with shoppers after all

Date Posted: 2003-12-06

Japanís newest paper currency is finally becoming respectable. After a less than enthusiastic welcome from the public when the Y2,000 paper currency was first introduced in July 2000, the public has steadily grown to like it. Officials at the Bank of Japan say itís use has now surpassed the Y5,000 bill.
The biggest single complaint, especially among the elderly, was that the bill resembled too closely the Y5,000 bank note and caused merchants to lose money when they gave change, thinking they had received the larger note.
The government and banks even went to the length of paying their employees salaries in Y2,000 notes in order to promote the new bill and increase its circulation. The number of ATMs and vending machines that accept the new note has also increased steadily.
According to the latest figures from the Bank of Japan, 460 million Y2,000 notes were in circulation as of the end of September, compared to 440 million Y5,000 notes. At the same time there were 6.4 billion Y10,000 notes and 3.2 billion Y1,000 notes.
Bank officials say that the Y2,000 bill is the most technologically advanced bank note in use, and is almost impossible to counterfeit. All other Japanese bank notes are scheduled to get a facelift in 2004 to bring them on par with the Y2,000 note, officials say.
In the U.S. the most used banknote is the $20 bill. Likewise, bankers in Japan believe that the Y2,000 bill being of similar value should become the most popular tender in the future.

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