It’s time for a new coin celebrating relationships between two countries and the latest commemoration is for 60 years of diplomatic ones between South-East Asian countries, Laos and Japan. Back in 2010 the two states signed up to a ‘comprehensive partnership’. Just a couple of weeks ago, that was upgraded to a ‘strategic partnership’ signalling Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe’s determination to engage more with his neighbours in the region, especially in light of some quite ridiculous Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea over the last couple of years. With Laos chairing ASEAN next year (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), the commemoration has come at an opportune time.
The coin itself is made in sterling silver and while struck by the Japan Mint, it was done so on the behalf of the Bank of the Lao, so carries a Laos denomination. Coloured on the reverse side, it depicts the actual logo designed for the occasion which combines the famous Japanese cherry blossom, with the national flower of Laos, the Champa, or Plumeria, more commonly known in the west as Frangipani.
The obverse side carries a depiction of the famous Pha That Luang Buddhist stupa from Vientiane in Laos. Covered in gold, this temple is considered to be the most important national monument in the country.
Packaged in a coin box, there is a mintage of 5,000 of which only 500 will be available outside of the two countries. The actual maximum mintage is double that figure should demand be great enough. The coin should be available from the end of April.
This year, 2015 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Laos and Japan on March 5th, 1955. Taking this opportunity, various commemorative events concerning this anniversary are being held, to enrich bilateral interaction between Laos and Japan.
As one of such commemorative events, we, Japan Mint, have received an order from the Bank of the Lao P.D.R, and have produced a legal tender silver coin of Laos.
REVERSE: Logo and catchphrase of the “60th Anniversary of the Establishment of JAPAN-LAOS Diplomatic Relations”
Cherry blossom and Champa (Plumeria, national flower of Laos)
OBVERSE: That Luang, representative temple of Laos