Japanese "Mickey Mouse" Money

5 peso Japanese invasion money
₱ 5 Japanese invasion money of the second series

Japan had conquered many colonies and other states during World War II. Special currency notes were officially issued by Japan in these states to replace local currency. These currency notes were known as Japanese Invasion Money. Both Wartime Finance Bank and the Southern Development Bank used bonds to raise money. Wartime Finance Bank gave loans to military industries, and the Southern Development Bank gave loans for hydroelectric generators, electric power companies, shipbuilding, and petroleum. In March 1945, the outstanding balance of Southern Development Bank notes stood at more than 13 billion.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yōsuke Matsuoka introduced the idea of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere In August 1940. According to this idea, Asian nations would be led by the Japanese with the help of local leaders and free of Western powers.

 old Japanese Invasion Money stamped by the failed JAPWANCAP scheme of the 1950s
old Japanese Invasion Money stamped by the failed JAPWANCAP scheme of the 1950s

After Japan conquered the Philippines, all hard currency was withdrawn physically at federal as well as individual levels. Locally printed Japanese Invasion Money featuring “The Japanese Government” was circulated. Other local notes called “Mickey Mouse Money” came with the words “promises to pay the bearer on demand”. They were issued in so much excess that they were considered valueless and burned down completely. The Japanese troops also destroyed bank records.

Japanese invasion money was issued in countries like Philippines, Burma (now Myanmar), Malaya, North Borneo and Sarawak (now Malaysia), Singapore, Brunei, the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and some areas of Oceania (New Guinea and the Solomon and Gilbert islands).

After Japan took over the Philippines, $20.5 Million worth U.S money and local cash was looted. The first issue of Japanese invasion money in the Philippines was launched in 1942 of denominations 1, 5, 10 and 50 centavos and 1, 5, and 10 Pesos. “Replacement notes” of the 1, 5 and 10 Pesos were introduced in 1943. 100 and 500 Peso notes were introduced in 1944. When the war was almost ending in 1945, 1,000 Pesos notes were issued.

After World War II, The Japanese War Notes Claimants Association of the Philippines, Inc. was founded in 1953. It asked the Philippine and U.S. governments to repay a portion of the Japanese military issues of currency for the Philippines. Several legal actions were taken against the U.S.A for achieving this.

A 1¢ banknote of 1942, which was nearly worthless almost as soon as it was introduced
A 1¢ banknote of 1942, which was nearly worthless almost as soon as it was introduced

 ₱5 banknote of the first series
₱5 banknote of the first series

₱500 banknote of 1944
₱500 banknote of 1944

₱1000 banknote
₱1000 banknote



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