Japanese Military Yen

01 Aug 2020  Sat

Commonly abbreviated as JMY, the Japanese Military Yen was the currency issued to the soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces as a salary. The Imperial Japanese government first started issuing the military yen during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904.

After the Sino-Japanese war, The Hong Kong Government surrendered to the Japanese Imperial Army on 25 December 1941. The Japanese authorities decreed the military yen to be the legal tender of Hong Kong the following day.

When the military yen was first introduced on 26 December 1941, the exchange rate between the Hong Kong dollar and the military yen was 2 to 1. However, by October 1942, the rate was changed to 4 to 1. After exchanging for Hong Kong dollars, the Japanese military purchased supplies and strategic goods in the neighboring neutral Portuguese colony of Macao.

As Japan became more desperate in the war effort in 1944, the Japanese military authorities in Hong Kong circulated more military yen, resulting in hyperinflation. After Japan announced its unconditional surrender on 15 August 1945, military yen banknotes were seized by British military authorities.

Image Courtesy: banknoteworld.com

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