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JAPANESE OCCUPATION CURRENCY

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Also know as Mickey Mouse money by the locals, because it had no value. To buy something you had to bring literally a sack to those bills to pay.


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It still doesn't unfortunately.

 

-Ski


In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired

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Also know as Mickey Mouse money by the locals, because it had no value. To buy something you had to bring literally a sack to those bills to pay.

 

That is not entirely true. The Ballantyne Scale of value of the Japanese Military Peso against the 1941 Commonwealth Peso does not show significant inflation until mid 1944. Throughout 1942 and most of 1943 there was minimal inflated value of the Japanese Peso compared to inflation that occurred in other parts of the Axis occupied areas. The Ballantyne Scale is set out below. The first column represents 1942, the second column 1943 and the last column 1944.

 

The post-war treatment of the circulation of the Japanese Military Peso is complicated. I wrote an article about it about 10 years ago.

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The stamp on the back of the 100 peso note is from the Japanese War Notes Claimant Association of the Philippines (JAPWANCAP). JAPWANCAP was a post-war organization that sued the Japanese government, first in Japan, then in the United States, to compel the Japanese to redeem the Japanese Military Peso. They lost in both countries.

 

The Japanese court pointed to the treaty ending the war that indicated all claims except those preserved under the treaty were waived, even the claims of private citizens. The American court determined the claimants were beyond the statute of limitations to enforce a claim.

 

The claimants raised an interesting argument in the Court of Claims in the US that the statute of limitations had not run yet. The case was filed in the late 1960s. The fact the US counterfeited Japanese Military Pesos had only recently been declassified. They tried to argue that the US counterfeiting caused the loss of value of the Japanese Peso during the war. Since they only recently learned of the US counterfeiting the statute of limitations should not have begun to run until that information was de-classified. The Court of Claims would have none of it.

 

Millions of Japanese Pesos were deposited with JAPWANCAP against receipts starting in the 1950s. To keep notes from being registered more than once they were stamped by JAPWANCAP.

 

The 50 centavo note looks like it may be one of the US counterfeits. You need to show a close up of the scrollwork below the upper right counter to determine whether it is genuine or a counterfeit.


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Thank you to everyone for the information. LETTOW do you need a close up of just the 50 centavos ?


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That is not entirely true. The Ballantyne Scale of value of the Japanese Military Peso against the 1941 Commonwealth Peso does not show significant inflation until mid 1944. Throughout 1942 and most of 1943 there was minimal inflated value of the Japanese Peso compared to inflation that occurred in other parts of the Axis occupied areas. The Ballantyne Scale is set out below. The first column represents 1942, the second column 1943 and the last column 1944.

 

The post-war treatment of the circulation of the Japanese Military Peso is complicated. I wrote an article about it about 10 years ago.

 

Your article sounds like it could be interesting reading. Is it available somewhere?

Mikie

 


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The first year (1942) of Japanese occupation, nobody wanted to accept those bills as payment and the real Peso was still in circulation until it was criminilized to have real pesos on your possesion. You could be sentenced to death. Later on, even after it was criminilized they would still use real pesos in the underground and some provinces printed there own guerrilla bills. They even printed 500 and 1000 pesos in mickey mouse money due to the inflation. There are still a lot of these bills to this day in bundles in uncirculated condition.


MESS WITH THE BEST



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Thank you to everyone for the information. LETTOW do you need a close up of just the 50 centavos ?

Just the upper right corner of the face.


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The resolution on the close up picture is not good enough. Here is the diagnostic on the 50 centavo note. The curved line under the counter is broken on the counterfeit. I will post the diagnostics for the other denominations also.

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The one peso. One the counterfeit the two fingers on the lowest ball in the scrollwork of the upper left counter come together. On the genuine note they are separated.

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Five peso. On the counterfeit the curved lines under the upper right counter attach to the frame. On the genuine note these lines remain separate,

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Ten peso. The diagnostic for the counterfeit is on the back of the note. It is the small nob between the 1 and 0 in the upper left counter.

 

These are all on the banyan tree notes. The Rizal Monument notes of the Southern Development Bank were not counterfeited.

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Fortuitous! A student brought some of his Great Grandpa's things in for me to scan for him today, and several of these bills were with it. I told him to bring them back and I'd see if they were counterfeits!


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Lettow,

 

Extremely impressive research and work. Well done. I will have to look at my Occupation notes more closely now and see what I have..

 

You have provided some very interesting information..

 

Leigh


"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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30 years or so ago I had some good references for these notes. Goodness knows what happened to them, but wish I had them now. I too will be taking a look at my bills. Thanks Firefighter for starting this topic. I have always been interested in these notes. Thanks to Lettow for all this good info. I'd love to hear more.

Mikie


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I would love to take credit for the research but it is not original.

 

I don't know who first identified the diagnostics for the counterfeits. I first encountered it in the book World War II Remembered: History in Your Hands by Fred Schwan and Joe Boling. It was published in 1995 and is the most thorough survey of World War II related numismatics. They have been promising a second edition for years but it has yet to be seen. You can also find more information on the Philippine counterfeits as well as the diagnostic for the Malaya $10.00 counterfeit on the psywarrior page run by SGM Herbert Friedman:

 

www.psywarrior.com/WWIIAlliedBanknotes.html


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Interesting, I'll have to go check my notes for counterfeits now!


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LETTOW I appreciate the time you took to post the information. I will have to check the notes and tell you what I found.Are the counterfeit ones more scarce than an original? And do any of these, original or conterfeit have any value?


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The counterfeit Philippine notes are much less common than genuine notes. Most genuine Philippine JIM are a dime a dozen.

 

Despite the relative scarcity of the counterfeits the Philippine counterfeits do not command much money. This is because most dealers do not look for them and it is possible to find them in junk boxes. You may go through 1000 notes before you find one but they are out there.

 

How common are Philippine JIM notes? Common enough that I will send some to the first five people who PM me with the answer to this military numismatic trivia question:

 

What phrase was printed on the back of genuine Philippine JIM notes by the US psyops branch and then airdropped on the Philippines?


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The counterfeit notes may or may not be worth much, but, man, what fascinating pieces of history they are! I have read how underground fighters in the islands smuggled samples of genuine notes, paper, ink, and I seem to recall someone once getting actual printing plates out to Australia where the fakes were printed and smuggled back into the islands, often on submarines. Simply amazing stories. I have not studied up on this for years but now my interest has been rekindled. The fact that they are relatively inexpensive and readily available makes them even more cool.

Mikie


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Great thread!

 

The book "Of Spies & Stratagems" by Stanley Lovell (printed in 1963) goes into some detail on these OSS Counterfeit notes.... locating actual Japanese paper, engraving, printing and distribution of the notes.

 

The genuine JIM notes printed by the Japanese had additional overstamping with the city or district in which it was valid (the red letters in the lower left hand corner of the note). These notes could only be used in that particular district. This controlled travel and commerce and more or less kept the population contained within the district. The influx of counterfeit OSS notes allowed the resistance fighters to travel all over the island not the mention the bribes that could be made.

 

Here's a photo that I posted in the "Firearms & Ordnance" section of the forum. The Colt was shipped to the OSS in September of 1944 and the JIM notes are OSS counterfeits.

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/289803-oss-weapons/

 

The second photo is a mix of genuine and counterfeit notes... depending on your eyesight some can be spotted with the naked eye.

 

 

 

 

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I thought it was the OWI (Office of War Information) that created the propaganda leaflets and bogus currency? I know they had offices in the Pacific and CBI.


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I thought it was the OWI (Office of War Information) that created the propaganda leaflets and bogus currency? I know they had offices in the Pacific and CBI.

 

No, the OWI were civilians and they were the good guys doing white propaganda. All the forgeries came from the OSS who was in charge of dirty tricks.

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