The Japanese Yen is the official currency of Japan and is one of the most traded currencies in the world. The currency’s symbol is ¥ and it is often abbreviated as JPY.
The Japanese Yen has a history dating back to the Meiji period when it replaced a complex system of coins and paper money in 1871. Today, there are several coins in circulation: 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen. Banknotes come in denominations of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yen.The Yen is divided into 100 subunits, called sen, however, these are no longer in use.
The Yen is also used at times by the isolationist country of North Korea and on the Ryukyu Islands, which are governed by Japan.
The Japanese word “yen” actually means “round object” or “circle”, a reference to the old silver dollar coins that were used in ancient China.
The Yen is issued by the central bank of Japan, known as the Bank of Japan. The Bank of Japan also issues debt known as Japanese Government Bonds, which are denominated in Yen. The government debt to GDP ratio in Japan is one of the lowest in the world. The Bank of Japan sets monetary policy based on inflation targets and economic growth targets.
The Japanese Yen is also one of the world’s most significant reserve currencies, with around 5% of world reserves held in JPY.
Given the ongoing economic crises in various countries around the world, attention at the moment is rightly more focused on interest rate decisions than in