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Friday, July 25, 2008

Kids get a chance to play banker for a day

Staff writer

Tokyo Star Bank Ltd. staff looked on in amusement as Noritake Toshi, 6, tried to run off with ¥100 million of the bank's money — all part of the bank's Kids' Day event Thursday.

News photo
Good things come in big packages: Noritake Toshi, 6, tries to hold a 10-kg package of 10,000 ¥10,000 notes during Kids' Day at Tokyo Star Bank's headquarters in the Akasaka district Thursday. YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO

"It's heavy," said Toshi, struggling with the 10-kg package containing 10,000 ¥10,000 bank notes. "If I had ¥100 million, I would buy a handbag for my mom."

The Kids' Day event at Tokyo Star Bank gave 22 children of its bank personnel the opportunity to take a look at what their moms and dads do for a living.

"Our mission is to free our customers from their money concerns," said Masami Ota, Tokyo Star's vice president of human resources. "As part of our mission, Kids' Day is aimed at offering children basic knowledge of finance."

The children, ranging in age from 6 to 15, learned how to exchange business cards in a professional manner and how to count bank notes by spreading them out like a fan.

In a lecture session, one bank official explained the concept of interest, telling the children how they will gain money if they deposit ¥10,000 for a year in a bank instead of keeping it in their wallet.

The children became excited as the official handed out ¥10,000 bills to let them see state of the art technology for preventing counterfeiting, including a latent image of the number 10,000 and a Bank of Japan governor's "hanko" seal that glows orange under ultraviolet light.

Although the event, which was first held last year, is currently offered only for children of Tokyo Star Bank employees, the bank is considering allowing other children to attend in the future.

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The Japan Times

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