Eco-Money

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Eco-Money is the name of many Japanese community currencies, used to connect neighbours in obtaining the goods and services they need.

Eco-money may also be used to describe forms of alternative currency and complementary currency that encourage ecological and socially responsible actions in other regions as well.

In spring 1999 Kusatsu in Shiga Prefecture became the first city in Japan to use eco-money, calling it the Ohmi, a historical name for the prefecture. Several other cities followed suit with currencies of their own, with Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, calling it the dagger (borrowed from the local dialect) and Takaoka in Toyama Prefecture.

Some 30 more communities across Japan are introducing such currencies. Some municipalities plan to use the money to plant trees and reduce garbage.