Japan has won a $12 million contract to mint coins for the Central Bank of Bangladesh in an international auction that Spain also participated in, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.

Germany, Britain, the Netherlands and Slovakia also participated in the bidding.

The winning Japanese bidder will produce 500 million units of Bangladesh's 2-taka coins, the ministry said.

This is the first time that Japan has minted coins for a foreign country, but it previously produced some commemorative coins to mark the anniversary of diplomatic relations with countries like New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

The state-owned Japanese company that will mint the coin has marketed its expertise in producing coins recently as use of coins has fallen in Japan as electronic payment options spread. EFE