Nepalese Bush to Serve as Japanese Currency Amid Paper Shortage

The third most traded currency in the world, the yen, is set to undergo significant changes in 2024. Every 20 years, the yen undergoes redesign. The notes were first printed in 2004. This year, new notes will come into circulation in July. However, there’s a problem; traditional paper supplied by Mitsumata for printing banknotes in Japan has dwindled over time. The Japanese government was informed by the president of Kanpona, the company that manufactures paper, that the production of Mitsumata has decreased in the Himalayas.

This means they found through research under Nepal’s foothills that the jungle’s Argelea Naaman could be an alternative. In Nepal, many farmers, like those residing in the foothills of the Himalayas, used this tree’s bark for making paper for centuries.

After the earthquake in Nepal in 2015, the Japanese prepared to train Nepalese farmers to cultivate this tree and produce suitable paper for yen currency. They were hopeful that approximately 20 tons of paper could be produced from around 140 tons of bark, which could yield significant revenue. Now, Argelea Naaman produces paper annually to make yen. Experts in Japan have taught them how to process the jungle’s tree.

Around 60 locals are estimated to be involved in harvesting Argelea Naaman this year. They hope that around 8 million Nepalese rupees (5 million Indian rupees) could be earned from Argelea Naaman’s output this year. Sherpa expressed optimism that they could produce approximately 20 tons from around 140 tons of bark. This bark will be packed into containers and sent to the port of Kolkata, India, from the Himalayan foothills. It will take around 40 days to reach Osaka.

While more than 60% of transactions in Japan are made with cash, in India, there’s a rising trend of digital transactions. On one side, Japanese people still prefer using currency notes for transactions, even today. In contrast, in their neighboring country, South Korea, approximately 94% of transactions are done through cards, codes, or smartphones. In Japan, more than 60% of transactions are still conducted with cash. Japanese people particularly admire their beautiful currency yen, which is printed on special paper made of plant fibers rather than cotton or polymer. The Central Bank of Japan ensures that there are enough physical notes available for circulation in the country.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.