Japan to Sell Gold Coins on Yahoo

(Bloomberg) – Japan’s government plans to auction late 19th and 20th century gold coins from the national treasury next month via Yahoo! Japan Corp. to help reduce the public debt.

The finance ministry will sell 2,445 coins from Feb. 3 to Feb. 19 on Yahoo! Auctions Japan, said Hideyuki Matsui, deputy director of the ministry’s Foreign Exchange Markets Division. Proceeds will go to Japan’s general account budget, he said. Some coins may be worth as much as 10 million yen ($87,000) each.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has vowed to curb Japan’s public debt, the heaviest in the industrialized world. Combined national and local government debt may total 775 trillion yen by March 2007. The finance ministry plans to sell 32,680 gold coins by March 2008.

No matter how hard you try, you're not going to sell more than about 1,000 coins a day at a regular public auction,'' Matsui said by phone on Jan. 13.As long as a computer has an Internet hook-up, anyone can participate.”

The ministry auctioned 1,105 gold coins in October, Yahoo! Auctions Japan said on its Web site. About 300 people attended the auction in Tokyo.

( via Bloomberg.com)

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