User-friendly banknotes for visually impaired people
The Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Japan and the National Printing Bureau are currently working to make it easier for visually impaired people to identify Bank of Japan notes.
As part of this work, the size and shape of the transparent layer featuring a hologram (a glossy transparent seal) on the bottom-left part of the 5,000 yen note have been changed. The transparent layer is now 1.7 times larger, and its shape has been changed from an ellipse to a rectangle. The new note was issued on May 12, 2014.
This modification enhances the tactile contrast between the transparent layer and the rest of the note’s surface so that visually impaired people can more easily distinguish it by its texture.
The old and new notes will both remain in circulation and legal tender for the time being.
* Serial numbers on the new 5,000 yen notes are brown (as opposed to the previous black) in association with the hologram modification, but the note’s dimensions and design otherwise remain the same.
* The “U・Qui・Ch-kun” denomination-identifying iPhone app is still available (in Japan only).
5,000 yen note modification ceremony held
A ceremony to announce and mark the 5,000 yen note modification was held at the National Printing Bureau’s Tokyo Plant on May 8, 2014. Representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Japan, visually impaired people’s groups and other interested parties attended.
Senior Vice-Minister of Finance Yoshihisa Furukawa, the Bank of Japan’s Deputy Governor Kikuo Iwata and the Japan Federation of the Blind’s Vice-Chairman Takayuki Suzuki all spoke at the event. Mr. Furukawa and Parliamentary Secretary of Finance Yasuhiro Hanashi revealed the details of the modification.
National Printing Bureau Japan
Public Relations Office