Get a historical overview and basic facts about the Japanese yen (¥).


Read our in-depth guide about the Japanese Yen below:

Common names for Yen

In most cases, the Japanese currency are simply called Yen, while the native pronunciation is [en]. In Japanese, Yen are written like this: kanji (円).

Countries with Yen

The only official country with Yen as a official currency is Japan.

How much is the Yen traded?

Japanese Yen is the third most traded currency in the world, accounting for 17.0 % of all foreign exchange trading. Yen is also part of the second-most traded currency pair, USD/JPY, which accounts for 13% of all online forex trading. The most traded currency pair is EUR/USD.

History of the Yen

Yen was originally introduced by the Meiji government 1871. The new currency was a replacement for the complex monetary system based on Mon. The yen was legally defined as 0.78 troy ounce (24.26 grams) of pure silver and 1.5 grams of pure gold. The same amount of silver is now worth about 1181 modern yen, while the same amount of gold is worth about 4715 yen.

Currency symbol and ISO-code

The official ISO code used by both online forex traders and foreign exchange office are JPY. The symbol for the currency looks like this: ¥.

Currency crisis with the Yen

The yen lost most of its value during and after the World War II. After a certain period of instability, the value was set to ¥360 per U.S. dollar. The currency was part of the Bretton Woods system, in an attempt to stabilize prices in the Japanese economy.

The second major crisis for Japan’s currency in 1971, when the yen had become undervalued. Japanese exports cost too little in the international markets, while imports from other countries became very expensive. The solution was a fixed exchange rate against the dollar, which lasted for three years, until nearly all major countries opted for floating exchange rate.

In the 1980s, Japan still wrestled with a weak currency, not least because of low interest rates in the country. This led to capital movement to countries with higher interest rate.

Bank of Japan

Bank of Japan (BOE), Japan’s central bank, has three main targets:

  • Price stability: Bank of Japan volumen influence of money and interest, with a view to control the currency and monetary control.
  • Financial Stability: Like most central banks, as Bank of Japan tries to maintain a stable financial system, where market participants have confidence in the system.
  • Payment systems and market infrastructure: BOJ seeks to improve the functionality and efficiency of the Japanese market infrastructure.

Online Forex Trading with Yen

Yen is included in several of the most actively traded currency pairs, including the JPY/USD and JYP/EUR. Trading forex with the Japanese yen is often preferred during the Asian trading session; during the night and early morning in Europe.

Yen vs other currencies

After being relatively weak for many years, the Yen has during 2009-10 reached new record levels against USD and Euro. The yen has rarely been as expensive as it is today. Seldom has Japanese goods such as cars and cameras been so expensive for Europeans and Americans.

Pictures of Yen

Below are some common notes and coins Japan.
Read the latest news about Japanese Yen.

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