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Guideline for Exchange of Damaged Cash by the Bank of Japan

The Bank of Japan exchanges damaged cash for new cash according to the following conditions.

Note: The Bank does not offer money exchange services (i.e., exchange of undamaged banknotes or coins for different denominations) nor foreign exchange services. If you require such services, please consult a commercial bank.

1. Types of Exchangeable Cash

The following types of cash (hereafter "damaged cash") are exchangeable for new cash at the Bank:

  1. (1) Bank of Japan notes that are not suitable for use due to contamination, damage, or other reasons (hereafter "damaged banknotes"), and
  2. (2) Japanese yen coins that are not suitable for use due to wear or other reasons (hereafter "damaged coins").

2. Place of Exchange

The Bank exchanges damaged cash at its Head Office and branches. The Bank does not provide this service at its Computer Center (Fuchu City, Tokyo), Banknote Operations Center (Toda City, Saitama Prefecture), domestic offices, or overseas representative offices.

The Bank does not exchange cash sent by post mail or courier. Please visit the Head Office or branch in person.

3. Business Hours and Request for an Appointment

  1. (1) The Bank accepts applications for exchange of damaged cash on its business days from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. JST.
  2. (2) Please make an appointment with the Bank in advance when you plan to bring in damaged cash so that the exchange can be processed smoothly upon your visit. The Bank examines and exchanges damaged cash based on the criteria set out in law and it therefore takes time accordingly to complete the exchange procedure. Please note that condition (3) below may also apply.

    If you wish to bring in a large quantity of damaged cash, the Bank may request you to change the date and time of your visit since the quantity of cash to be exchanged per day is limited.
  3. (3) Please note that the time required to process your application for exchange of damaged cash varies depending on the quantity, the degree of damage, and other conditions of the damaged cash, although the Bank endeavors to process applications promptly upon receipt.

    The Bank maintains the necessary capacity to exchange a typical daily amount of damaged cash based on the amount it has exchanged in the past. However, the Bank may be unable to exchange all damaged cash in one day, depending on the time you submit your application, the quantity, the degree of damage, and other conditions of the damaged cash. In this case, the Bank may return part or all of the damaged cash you have brought in, and ask you to bring it back again on another business day. In principle, the Bank does not keep damaged cash in its custody overnight.

4. Criteria for Exchange of Damaged Cash

The Bank exchanges damaged cash for new cash based on the following criteria. The Bank will judge damaged cash that does not meet the criteria below as having no value.

(1) Bank of Japan notes

Only banknotes that have both a front side and a reverse side are exchangeable.

  1. a. A banknote with two-thirds or more of the original banknote remaining:
    The Bank will exchange it at full face value.
  2. b. A banknote with two-fifths or more, but less than two-thirds, of the original banknote remaining:
    The Bank will exchange it at half face value. If the half face value contains a fraction of less than 1 yen, the fraction will be discarded.

If a banknote is torn into two or more pieces, the above criteria are applied to the total remaining area of the pieces, provided that each piece can be identified as coming from the same banknote.

(2) Japanese yen coins

Only coins whose inscriptions are recognizable are exchangeable.

The criteria for exchanging damaged coins are as follows.

  1. a. Gold coins
    The Bank will exchange gold coins at their full face value, if they weigh at least 98 percent of their original weight.
  2. b. Coins other than gold coins
    The Bank will exchange damaged coins at their full face value, if they weigh more than half their original weight.

However, if the weight of the damaged coins is reduced due to a disaster or other unavoidable event, the Bank will exchange the coins at their full face value, provided that their inscriptions are recognizable.

5. Preparation for Bringing in Damaged Cash

(1) When bringing in damaged cash

Please prepare the damaged cash as follows before bringing it in to the Bank.

a. Bank of Japan notes

  • If you have a torn banknote, please join the pieces together as much as possible, preferably with weak adhesive tape, so that the front and reverse sides of the note can be identified. In particular, a banknote that has been shredded needs to be taped together, since it is difficult to identify a pile of shredded pieces as coming from the same banknote. Bring any remaining pieces together with the taped banknote so that the Bank can also refer to them in examining the note.
  • In mending a banknote with tape, carefully check its features, such as the serial number, printed patterns, and color, to avoid sticking pieces of different banknotes together by mistake. The Bank applies the exchange criteria in section 4 (1) to the total remaining area of pieces that can be identified as coming from the same banknote.
  • If you have wet banknotes, please dry each one as much as possible. If you have a banknote with materials adhered to it, please remove them as much as possible.

b. Japanese yen coins

  • If you have heavily soiled coins, please wash and dry them. As far as possible, remove any bits of metal, plastic, or other materials adhered to or mixed with the coins.

(2) When bringing in brittle cash

If you have brittle cash such as burnt banknotes, protect them from further damage by, for example, putting them in a container. The Bank may judge disintegrated pieces of cash as having no value.

6. Exchange Procedure

  1. (1) If you wish to exchange damaged cash, please fill out the "Damaged Cash Claim Form" available at the Bank's counter and submit it with the damaged cash.
  2. (2) The Bank will ask how the cash was damaged and whether you have any remaining missing pieces, as a reference to determine whether the damaged cash meets the criteria for exchange stipulated in section 4.
  3. (3) The Bank will give you a numbered tag upon receiving the "Damaged Cash Claim Form" and the damaged cash. Please make sure to keep the numbered tag as you will need it to receive the exchange value.
  4. (4) The Bank will determine the exchange value of the damaged cash based on the criteria for exchange stipulated in section 4.
  5. (5) If it is necessary to examine the damaged cash for its authenticity, the Bank will process it in accordance with the examination process stipulated in section 8.
  6. (6) The Bank will pay the exchange value in cash, with the minimum number of banknotes and/or coins.
  7. (7) Please submit the numbered tag to the counter and state your name to receive the exchange value. Please check the amount of exchange value upon receiving it from the Bank.
  8. (8) If you are unable to follow the above procedures, please consult the Bank in advance.

7. Charge

There is no charge for the exchange of damaged cash to new cash.

8. Examination of Cash for Authenticity

If you suspect that cash in your possession is counterfeit or altered cash and wish for the Bank to examine its authenticity, please fill out the "Examination Application Form" available at the Bank's counter and submit it with the cash.

The Bank may ask you how the cash came to be in your possession, etc. Please note that the examination may take considerable time.

  • If the cash is judged to be genuine, the Bank will process it as follows:
    1. (a) The Bank will exchange the cash for new cash upon request, if it is damaged or inconvenient for use. If you wish to exchange it, please follow the procedures stipulated in section 6 and submit the "Damaged Cash Claim Form."
    2. (b) The Bank will return any cash that does not meet the condition set out in (a).
  • If the cash is judged to be counterfeit or altered cash, the Bank will return it to you. Please report it to a local police station.