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National Printing Bureau

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Title: National Printing Bureau  
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Subject: Japanese yen, Japan Mint, Economy of Japan, Japan External Trade Organization, Bank of Japan
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National Printing Bureau

National Printing Bureau (国立印刷局 Kokuritsu Insatsu-kyoku) (NPB) is a Japanese governmental agency in charge of the production of Japanese paper money, Yen. It also produces various other products, such as postage stamps.


The Paper Money Office was created on July 27, 1871 under the administration of the Ministry of Finance, and was soon renamed in August the Paper Money Bureau. At the time, banknote printing was outsourced to the United States and Germany, as Japan did not have the required facilities for domestic production. The bureau managed the private national banks and managed the issue and exchange of banknotes.

In January 1872, production of paper money was handed over to the Paper Money Bureau, and it acquired papermaking and printing duties. These included the production of banknotes, securities, postage stamps, and typographic printing. The first domestically produced Japanese money, a 1-yen banknote, was created on October 15, 1877.

The Paper Money Bureau was merged with the Official Gazette Bureau on January 1, 1898, and thus acquired the duty of printing the Official Gazette, starting July 2, 1898.

The Bureau became an incorporated administrative agency (Independent Administrative Institution) in April 2003.[1]


The NPB includes a Head Office, Research Institute, Government Publications Service Center, and several production plants.

Head Office

The head office includes strategic planning, evaluation and auditing, security products, information products, research and development, general affairs, human resources, and finance and accounting departments.


The NPB has several production plants. Toranomon is responsible for publishing the Official Gazette and other government publications. At Takinogawa banknotes, public bonds, and certificate stamps are made, and at Oji postage stamps are printed. Plants at Odawara, Shizuoka, and Hikone also produce banknotes, while Odawara makes paper as well, along with Okayama.[2]

Environmental Activities

The Bureau's environmental philosophy is "Conduct business activities in harmony with the environment." It is attempting to acquire ISO 14001 certification. Five of its plants have already done so: Takinogawa in 2002, Odawara in 2004, Hikone in 2006, Okayama in 2007, and Shizuoka in 2009. The Bureau prepares and publishes an environmental report on its website yearly.

Five areas of focus are:

  • Environmental Compliance: Compliance with environmental laws and regulations
  • Resource and Energy Saving: Reduction in the usage of resources and energy, and in waste production
  • Product Design and Production with Low Environmental Load: Engineering products for minimal environmental impact in all phases of the product lifecycle
  • Green Procurement
  • Environmental Conservation Enlightenment: Promotion of awareness through employee education programs[3]


  1. ^ "History." National Printing Bureau. Accessed 23 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Organization." National Printing Bureau. Accessed 23 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Environmental Activities." National Printing Bureau. Accessed 23 July 2010.
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