Japan Prefecture Coin Series
is Country’s Most Ambitious Coin Program Ever
The popularity of the United States' series of 50 State Quarters, issued from 1999 through 2008, probably inspired Japan to launched its most ambitious series of commemorative coins in 2008-commemorating the 47 Prefectures-and the series will run through 2016. But while the State Quarters were issued in uncirculated condition, made from copper-nickel and issued by the millions, the large Prefecture 40mm. coins are being minted in gem proof quality from 99.9% pure silver, limited to 100,000 of each-and they picture local scenery, flora and fauna, etc. in full color. Panda America is the official distributor of the Prefecture coins in the United States.
Japan's current prefecture system was established by the Meiji government in July 1871. Although there were initially over 300 prefectures, this number was reduced to 72 in the latter part of 1871, and 47 in 1888. The Local Autonomy Law of 1947 gave more political power to prefectures, and installed prefectural governors and parliaments.