Policy / Systems / Technology

July 22, 2012

 

Local Currency 'Atom' Introduced in Local Shopping District

Keywords: Local government Policy / Systems Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

A local currency named the "Atom" was distributed to people in exchange for used clothes and empty cans at an event at a shopping center in central Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, northeast Japan from May 3 to 6, 2012.

Originating in Takadanobaba in Tokyo, the "Atom" has been used in many places across Japan since 2009. The term "Atom" comes from the name of the main character in the manga "Astroboy" created by Osamu Tezuka. As the robot hero was born in Takadanobaba in the story, people in the area designed the local currency "Atom". The manga "Astroboy" sends us a message on the importance of bonds among people and concern for the future of children and the earth.

The unit of the "Atom" currency is horsepower. As the Astroboy Atom was depicted to have 100,000 horsepower, people adopted the term in the hope that the "Atom" currency would become as powerful as Astroboy. One horsepower equals one yen. Three kinds of currencies are being issued, including 10, 50, and 100 horsepower, which can be used at participating stores.

The "Atom" currency in Sendai is being issued by the Network for Future Environment and Welfare, an NPO working as the Sendai branch of the Atom Currency Executive Committee. The NPO has been introducing the "Atom" currency since 2010, aiming for environmental conservation, international communication, and the revitalization of local shopping centers.


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