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Japan – Banking

Japan is a country with a highly developed banking system. It is known for its large number of ATMs, especially those that accept foreign cards. In this article, we will answer some common questions about banking in Japan.

Main Local Banks in Japan

The main local banks in Japan are:

  1. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG)
  2. Mizuho Financial Group
  3. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG)

Major UK and USA Banks in Japan

Major UK and USA banks that have a presence in Japan include:

  1. Citibank
  2. HSBC
  3. Standard Chartered Bank

Accounts and Services for Expats

Some banks in Japan offer accounts and services specifically aimed at expats. For example, Citibank offers a Global Executive Banking service that provides expats with access to accounts and services in multiple countries. This service includes a Global View feature that allows customers to view their accounts in different countries on a single screen.

Typical Bank Opening Hours

Banking hours in Japan are generally from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on weekdays. Some banks may also be open on Saturdays, but their hours may vary.

Areas of Concern

One area of concern for expats in Japan is the language barrier. While some banks have English-speaking staff, many do not, so it is important to research the bank’s language capabilities before opening an account. Another area of concern is the complicated banking procedures and paperwork involved in opening an account.

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Opening a Bank Account

To open a bank account in Japan as an expat, follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose a Bank

Research the different banks in Japan to find one that suits your needs. Look for a bank with English-speaking staff if you are not fluent in Japanese.

Step 2: Gather Required Documents

You will need the following documents to open a bank account in Japan:

  1. Residence card or Japanese driver’s license
  2. Passport
  3. Personal seal (inkan) or signature

Step 3: Visit the Bank

Visit the bank you have chosen and inform the staff that you want to open an account. They will provide you with an application form to fill out.

Step 4: Complete the Application Form

Complete the application form with your personal information, including your name, address, and occupation.

Step 5: Provide Required Documents

Provide the required documents to the bank staff.

Step 6: Wait for Approval

Wait for the bank to approve your application. This may take several days.

Step 7: Activate Your Account

Once your application is approved, the bank will provide you with the necessary information to activate your account, including your account number and how to set up online banking.

In conclusion, banking in Japan can be complex, but with some research and preparation, it is possible for expats to open a bank account and access the many banking services available in the country.

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