Friday, October 31, 2008

The Value of Japanese Occupation Banknotes

I was asked by a collector on the value of Japanese Occupation Banknotes (JOB). As most of us are aware, these JOB have not commercial value. One of the main reasons is that the number of issuance of these notes was unknown. Some have quoted that billion of JOB had been issued during the war time. The exact number of issuance remains unknown to many of us. From what we understand, only small portion of these notes were printed with serial number. Majority of the notes were printed with only the block letter i.e MA, MB etc. How many copies did the Japanese print out for each block letter? The question can only be answered by the Japanese. Moreover, these notes also lack of security features. No watermark was used and no signature or date of issuance recorded on these notes. Some of these notes even printed on the low quality paper. This has resulted many of the notes that we see in the market today are the RE-PRODUCTION copy.

The Malayan $5 Japanese Occupation Banknote printed with serial number.

Nevertheless, these notes have their historical values and stories. I remember a story told by an old folk many years ago. During the end of the World War II in 1945, the Japanese notes were no long valid as they had surrender themselves to the Allies force after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many of the folks in rural area were not aware of this incident. They were cheated by traders from town whom used these Japanese notes (already invalid after the war) to purchase their agriculture products such as padi, corns etc. In return, they had received tonne of Japanese money which later turn up to be worthless and useless. That is why these invasion notes can recall many old folks' painful memory during the war time.

This photo shows the Japanese Occupation Banknotes were littered on the street in Rangoon, Burma in 1945. Source from Wikipedia

1 comment:

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