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Hokkaido designs to lead memorial coin issue (May 14, 2008)

500-yen (left) and 1,000-yen coins featuring Lake Toya and other Hokkaido designs

The Ministry of Finance revealed the design of the first of a series of commemorative coins showing images of Hokkaido on May 13. The 1,000-yen and 500-yen coins, which will feature imagery related to one of Japan's 47 prefectures, will be minted to mark the 60th anniversary of the Local Finance Law.

The pure-silver 1,000-yen coin shows Lake Toya and Japanese cranes, the symbolic bird of Hokkaido, in connection with July's Hokkaido Toyako Summit. A total of 100,000 coins will be put on the market from July at 6,000 yen each.

The 500-yen coin features Lake Toya and the former Hokkaido Government Office Building. The number of coins to be minted is yet to be announced, and they will be exchanged at face value from December. For both the coins, priority will be given to sale and issue in Hokkaido, and the Japanese Government plans to present 1,000-yen coins in cypress boxes to the G8 leaders during the Summit.

Japan Post Holdings Co. also announced plans to sell five different kinds of memorial stamp featuring Otaru Canal and other Hokkaido-related designs from July 1.

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