QuestionCan I use all types of banknotes that have been issued to date by the Bank? Are the old-design notes that I have still valid?
The Bank has issued 53 kinds of banknotes since 1885. Among these, 22 kinds are valid at present, not only those that are currently issued but also those that are no longer issued.
To check whether your banknotes are valid, please refer to the following:
- Bank of Japan Notes and Coins Currently Issued (10,000-yen, 5,000-yen, 2,000-yen, and 1,000-yen notes that are currently issued)
- Valid Bank of Japan Notes (Banknotes that are no longer issued but still valid, in addition to banknotes currently issued)
Banknotes that are valid but no longer issued and inconvenient for use (such as 10,000-yen notes with a portrait of Shotoku Taishi) can be exchanged for those that are currently issued, at the Bank's Head Office in Tokyo and branches across Japan.
All banknotes, once issued, remain valid as legal tender, unless special measures are taken under the law. There are three cases when such measures were enacted in Japan: (1) a special conversion made in 1927 to replace banknotes lost in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, when fire engulfed most of Tokyo and the surrounding area; (2) the conversion to the "new yen" in 1946 with the aim of containing inflation immediately after World War II; and (3) the voiding of small-denomination currency of less than 1 yen, including banknotes, in 1953.
Consequently, of the 53 kinds of banknotes issued to date, 31 are no longer valid, and therefore can no longer be used as banknotes.