Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeWorld newsJapan runs on automatics. It's about to break millions of them.

Japan runs on automatics. It’s about to break millions of them.

The vending machine in Hiroshi Nishitani’s ramen restaurant in Tokyo has been reliable for ten years. Customers give him money and he prints his orders while he is in the kitchen making fresh noodles. The food is served within minutes once the customer delivers the order to the pair of chefs at the counter.

But the machine’s days are numbered. Japan will introduce a new set of banknotes this summer, something it does about every 20 years to thwart counterfeiters. The machine, which is already too old to accept recent coin designs, will not accept the new banknotes, Nishitani said.

“There is nothing wrong with the machine,” he said, expressing frustration at the need to buy an expensive new device compatible with the new banknotes.

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