THE STORY OF MPC OR MILITARY PAYMENT
CERTIFICATES AS USED ON OKINAWA
1946 TO 1958
Military payment certificates, or MPC, was a form of currency used to pay U.S. military personnel in certain foreign countries. MPC could only be used on the bases, and could not be used by the civilian population. MPC was used in 19 foreign countries from 1946 until 1973. The various MPC series displayed here were used in the Ryukyu Islands from 1946 to 1958 when the military and civilian populous changed over to the US dollar. MPC was developed and used for military pay due to the large black market that evolved in Europe and Japan after the war when US servicemen would convert large amounts of US dollars for the local currency at greater than the official exchange rates. At certain unannounced dates all the MPC in use was required to be turned in and exchanged for new type MPC, this was to help prevent the MPC from being used on the black market. On 11 April 1958, military payment certificates previously used by U.S. Forces on Okinawa were replaced by U.S. currency which could only be used on base.
A-YEN THE FIRST TEST OF MPC 1946
The first attempt to test if MPC would help to stop the black market economies was done in the US occupied countries of Japan, Korea and Okinawa. The military had a large stockpile of A-Yen which had been printed by the US government and intended for use as occupation currency in Korea at the end of the war. It was found that it was not necessary as the local Korean banking system had enough currency to maintain the economy and the A-yen was withdrawn and put into storage. The "A-Yen" MPC test was conducted in Okinawa, Japan and Korea from 19 July 1946 through 30 Sept 1946. After the success of the test MPC was put into use around the world in various countries including Okinawa starting the 461 Series on 30 September 1946.
Here are various samples of A-yen and MPC from my collection. Some notes were known as replacement notes as they were put in place of notes damages during printing to maintain the serial number order of the notes. In the case of A-Yen the notes had an "H" prefix and for MPC the notes had the suffix left off. Bank checks on Okinawa during the MPC period were in MPC as noted on the sample check shown.
MPC SERIES USED ON OKINAWA
461 30 SEP 46 TO 10 MAR 47
471 10 MAR 47 TO 22 MAR 48
472 22 MAR 48 TO 20 JUNE 51
481 20 JUN 51 TO 25 MAY 54
521 25 MAY 54 TO 11 APRIL 58