State-sponsored counterfeiting is commonplace in times of war. Here's an article about an exhibit of fake Chinese banknotes made
by Japan with the help of a private company. -Editor
A recent discovery reveals that the Japanese army produced fake Chinese
banknotes in the billions of yuan during the Second Sino-Japanese War in an attempt to undermine the Chinese economy, reports China's Global
Times citing Japan's Asahi Shimbun.
Japan's Noborito Institute Peace Education Resource Center at Meiji University is now exhibiting the counterfeit notes, which were left at the
Tomoegawa paper mill in Shizuoka.
Researchers with the university have concluded after studying 279 sheets of 30 cm square papers that they were part of the Japanese army's
operation to counterfeit bills used in the Republic of China (ROC) during the war.
The sheets of material, which also contain silk fibers, are printed with watermarks of the profile of ROC founding father Sun Yat-sen in a way
that matches the 5-yuan bill that was widely circulated in China at that time.
Other sheets of material found had watermarks of the Temple of Heaven, a historic site that was printed on another kind of 5-yuan bill. The
Japanese produced fake banknotes worth a total of 4 billion yuan from when the operation started in 1939, according to a former Imperial Japanese
The Japanese army embarked on the project to encourage Chinese acceptance of the Japanese yen. Based on a book written by a former employee at the
institute, the operation was part of Japan's economic strategy towards the ROC.
Akira Yamada, a professor of modern Japanese history at the university, said that although the Japanese government was involved in the project,
the executing unit was the highly confidential Imperial Japanese Army's Noborito Laboratory, also known as the Ninth Army Engineering Laboratory
where the university's Ikuta campus now stands.
"Having a company in the private sector involved in the project made it possible to make a vast volume of banknotes," said Yamada, who
is also head of the Noborito institute.
The counterfeit money was produced in Hong Kong with Western technology. According to former army institute employees, the Japanese army
confiscated the machines and plates and took them to the institute.
The exhibition at Meiji University will run until March 21, 2015.
To read the complete article, see:
Japan's forgeries of ROC banknotes go on display
Wayne Homren, Editor
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