Did the Japanese Government plan to occupy Australia during World War 2? Were they so confident that they had gone to the extent of producing their own version of currency to be used in Australia? At that time, Australia used Pounds, Shillings and Pence as its currency.

The Japanese produced Occupation Money in a variety of notes such as Guilders, Pesos, Dollars and Pounds. The Pound notes had in fact been produced by the Japanese for use in the British Islands of the Pacific Ocean (not including Australia) and adjacent seas, including New Guinea, rather than as part of a "planned occupation" of Australia.


Philippines Centavos and Pesos
Malaya, Singapore and Straits Colonies Dollars and Cents
Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) Guilders and Cents
British Islands in the Pacific and adjacent seas, including New Guinea Pounds and Shillings
Burma Rupees and Cents


The images of the three notes shown below were scanned from notes sent to me by my friend Clinton Palmer of the 49th Fighter Group who has since passed away on 7 July 2000. He landed in Hollandia went back to a beach on 24 May 1944 to locate their equipment. There he met some fellows from the 1st Cavalry Division. It was here that the Japanese Occupation Money was recovered from the bodies of some dead Japanese soldiers on the beach.


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One Pound Note


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One Shilling Note


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Half Shilling Note


Photo:- Mark T. Marcum

Japanese Government Philippines 10 Centavo Note that was brought home by
Cpl. Paul J. Ezell, grandfather of Mark T. Marcum. Cpl. Ezell was a military policeman.


Photo:- Mark T. Marcum

Reverse side of Japanese Government Philippines 10 Centavo Note


During their occupation of the Netherlands East Indies, the Japanese issued paper money apparently for use in that area. Those notes ranged from one cent up to ten Guilders. They featured the designation (in Dutch) "de Japansche Regeering." 

The military money for Burma produced by the Japanese was denoted in rupees and the principal feature was pagodas, although cent notes also circulated.  Notes were issued commencing at I cent (pyat), and progressively upwards, 5 cents, 10 cents, ¼ rupee, ½ rupee, 1 rupee, 5 rupees and 10 rupees.  Later, a 100 rupee note was issued.  “The words, ‘THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT’ were written boldly in English in the centre of the notes.  The amount was also written in English.  The letter “M” appeared on the cent notes, which it was assumed stood for Malaya, while the rupee notes carried a ‘B’ or ‘BD’. On some Burmese notes that Marilyn Longmuir has, the letters “BB” appear twice on the front of the 5 rupee notes, and on both a 10 rupee note and a 100 rupee note. The letters “BA” also appear twice on the front of the notes.



The Money Trail: Burmese Currencies in Crisis, 1937-1947
by Marilyn Longmuir
(De Kalb, IL: Southeast Asia Publications, 2002)



I'd like to thank Clinton Palmer, Mark T. Marcum and Lindsay Peet for their assistance with this home page.

I'd like to thank Marilyn Longmuir for her assistance with this web page.


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This page first produced 25 June 2000

This page last updated 08 December 2017