Japanese Yen

The Japanese yen is the official currency of Japan. It is the third-most traded currency on the FX market; only the United States Dollar and the Euro are traded more. The Japanese yen is also the fourth most popular currency for national currency reserves.

In 2013, USD/JPY was the second-most traded currency pair on the FX market, making up almost one fifth of all trading. Only the EUR/USD was traded more. (Source: The 2013 Triennial Central Bank Survey.)

JPY FX Trade Fun Fact

  • The currency pair GBP/JPY is nicknamed Guppy.
  • The currency pair EUR/JPY is nicknamed Yuppy.

jpy coinBasic info about the Japanese yen

  • The ISO 4217 code for the Japanese yen is JPY (numerical: 392).
  • The symbol for the Japanese yen is ¥.
  • The central bank for the Japanese yen is the Bank of Japan (Nippon Ginkō).
  • 1 Japanese yen equals 100 sen. 1 sen equals 10 rin.
  • The Japanese yen is sold freely on the FX market.
  • The Japanese yen used have a gold standard, but is now fiat money.

Monetary policy

The Bank of Japan (Nippon Ginkō) has maintained low interest rates since the 1990s. This was the decade when the Bank of Japan was ensured a higher than before degree of autonomy from the Japanese government.

In addition to maintaining low interest rates, Bank of Japan has also made several huge bond purchases since the 1990s to inject more yen into the system. The bank has also carried out major purchases of other financial instruments with the same rational.

The Bank of Japan wants to keep the value of the yen down to promote Japanese export, but this has proven easier said than done. The yen did for instance appreciate against almost all of the major currencies as a result of the 2008 global financial crisis.


  • The symbol ¥ is used for both the Japanese Yen and the Chinese yuan. The Japanese sign for yen is 円.
  • There are no sen or ren coins or bills in circulation. Since the early 1950s, only yen coins and yen bills has been in circulation.
  • In Japanese, the word yen is produced “en”. In English, both the “en” pronunciation and the “yen” pronunciation is considered acceptable.
  • Yen is the Japanese word for circle or round. Won is the Korean word for circle/round and yuan is the Chinese word for circle/round. Each of these three words are used as a name for the local currency in its respective country.

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