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Mie Bank to Support 'Community Currency' and NPOs 2002-01-03

On November 1, 2004, Mie Bank, Ltd. will start to offer customers the option of investing their money into "J money time deposits" (or term deposits) that also support community service activities. This will be the first financial product in Japan that incorporates a community currency, also known as "local money," which can be used to buy products and services in the community.

"J-Money Savings" depositors will receive "J money," acquired by the Mie Bank through a donation to Junkansha Fund (J Fund), an organization that supports non-governmental organizations by collecting donations and issuing the community currency. Depositors will receive 100 J for every 100,000 yen (about US$900) deposited, equivalent to an interest of 0.1 percent over the basic interest on the deposit (1 J = 1 yen). The time deposits will be on sale at 24 Mie Bank branches in Yokkaichi City and Mie Gun in Mie Prefecture until the sales target of 1 billion yen (about US$9,000,000) is reached.

A donation of one million yen (about US$9,000) by the bank to J Fund will be allocated to nonprofit organizations (NPOs) selected by the bank. Prior to the sales of J money in October, the bank plans to take applications from local NPOs that need financial support. In addition to contributing to local communities through donation to the J Fund, the banks hopes to improve communication within the region by promoting the circulation of J money, and to help build a friendly community environment.

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