Saturday, October 18, 2008

Japanese Occupation Notes in Southeast Asia During World War II

The Japanese Occupation Banknotes or Japanese Invasion Money was issued by the Japanese Military Authority during the World War II in Southeast Asia countries. It was as known as the Southern Development Banknotes. At the initial stage, theses notes were issued at par value with the local currency but they had loos their value or depreciated due to excessive printing of these banknotes without any control. By the war end, these banknotes had become useless and worthless.

With the slogan "Asia for Asians", the Japanese had occupied many countries in Southeast Asian including Philippines, Malaya, Singapore, Burma, Indonesia or Netherlands East Indies and some Oceania islands during the World War II.


In 1942, Philippines fell onto the hand of Japanese Government. Subsequently, the invasion money was introduced by the Japanese. Three series of invasion notes were introduced by Japanese in Philippines since 1942. A total of seven notes in the first series, four notes in the second series, and two notes in the third series.

The first series was issued in 1, 5, 10, and 50 Centavo and 1, 5, 10 Peso. All these notes carried the "P" block letter represented the countries of Philippines.

The second series was issued in 1, 5, 10, and 100 Peso only. All have the Rizal monument vignette. Some notes displayed only two letter block while other printed with serial numbers.

The third series with the high denomination was result from the severe inflation. These notes were released in 100, 500 and 1000 Peso denominations. The 100 Peso is considered rare and might not be considered a part of the series for certain collectors. The 500 Peso note has the Rizal monument and the 1000 Peso is printed in a small size note with "PU" block letters.


The Japanese began to attack British Malaya in 1941 and occupied the peninsular of Malaya and Singapore in 1942. The issuance of Japanese Occupation Banknotes was to replace the Strait Settlement notes circulated back then. The general issues this Japanese notes have the block letter "M" that represented Malaya. Serial numbered notes may or may not have this "M" and can be difficult to find. They were issued in 1, 5, 10, and 50 cents in small size and 1, 5, 10, 100, and 1000 dollars in the larger size.


The Japanese invaded and conquered Burma in 1942. Upon Invasion, the Japanese Military Authority had issued the invasion banknotes with the "B' block letter that represented Burma. They were issued in 1, 5 and 10 cent small size notes and 1/4, 1/2, 1, 5, 10 and 100 Rupees in the larger notes.

Netherlands East Indies

The Japanese started to attack Netherlands East Indies after their victory in Malay and Singapore. The Netherlands East Indies fell under control of the Japanese in 1942. These Japanese Invasion notes issued on these countries were bearing the "S" block letter. The first series of seven notes were issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10 cent small size and 1/2, 1, 5 and 10 Gulden in the larger size.

The second series of consists of two notes. "Pemerintah Dai Nippon" notes were issued in 100 and 1000 Roepiah with SO block for the 100 and SA block for the 1000 Roepiah.

The third series has a total of seven notes, "Dai Nippon Teikoku" notes were issued in 5 and 10 cents and larger size notes in 1/2, 1, 5, 10 and 100 Roepiah.


Oceania refers to British New Guinea, the Solomon and Gilbert Islands and other small island outposts. This is the shortest set of Japanese Occupation Banknotes. This series consists of four notes and printed with the "O" block letters. The denominations issued are of 1/2, 1, 10 shillings and 1 Pound.

1 comment:

vonn said...

oh ya..

'banana money'..hehe