News On Japan

Wedding Gift Worries as New Currency Release Approaches

TOKYO, Jun 19 (News On Japan) - With the new currency release drawing near, unexpected issues are emerging. This month, known as the season of June brides, sees many weddings, but there are growing concerns over the difficulty in obtaining crisp banknotes for wedding gifts.

A wedding attendee this month said, 'I tried to exchange money at the post office to prepare a wedding gift for a friend, but realized this is problematic.'

This man found himself in an unexpected predicament while preparing for a weekend wedding.

'They told me, "We no longer handle new bills of the current currency." I couldn't make the exchange.'

When he tried to exchange for crisp banknotes, commonly known as "pin-satsu," he was told it was not possible.

Why exactly is it so difficult to get crisp banknotes?

According to Mizoguchi Tamaki from Johoku Shinkin Bank, 'With the new currency issuance approaching, financial institutions might be ordering fewer new bills than usual.'

The issue stems from the new currency set to be issued on July 3, leading financial institutions to reduce their orders for new bills.

Faced with this, the man took action.

'I withdrew as much as possible from the ATM, hoping to find clean bills close to new ones for the wedding gift.'

He initially withdrew 40,000 yen, but when he didn't get clean bills, he withdrew an additional 200,000 yen to gather the necessary crisp banknotes for the gift.

Vending Machine Upgrades Challenge Ramen Shop

Regarding the new currency, a ramen shop in Tokyo's Itabashi Ward made a significant decision.

Shina Soba Osada's Sho Osada said, 'We decided to make the change before the new currency comes into circulation to avoid inconveniencing customers.'

The shop underwent work to upgrade its vending machines to handle the new currency. While the main unit replacement can cost over 1 million yen, this shop opted to replace only the currency recognition device, which still cost around 200,000 yen.

Osada remarked, 'With all the rising costs, including materials and taxes, having to replace the vending machine is tough for small shops.'

Elcom, a company handling vending machine sales, reported a surge in orders. Takeshi Kawanami, the executive director, noted, 'Orders have flooded in since the beginning of the year, with 3-4 times the number compared to when we started handling the new currency in 2022.'

The shop successfully completed preparations for the new currency.

At a financial institution in a town associated with Eiichi Shibusawa, depicted on the new 10,000 yen bill, preparations are underway.

Mizoguchi stated, 'We've redesigned the Shibusawa-kun Johoku Shinkin Bank, featuring photo spots with large stuffed animals and panels to build excitement for the upcoming currency release.'

Mizoguchi added, 'Many customers will likely want to keep the new banknotes as souvenirs, so we're preparing to distribute them starting from the afternoon of July 3.'

Source: ANN

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