Leading Japanese commercial banks are only located in major cities, but regional banks can be found in each local area. You should choose a bank with a branch and ATM locations that are most convenient for you. In the case that your employer has set-up an automatic bank transfer for your monthly salary, you will be given a list of banks to choose from.
Opening an account
In order to open a new bank account, you will need an alien registration card, a registered hanko, and a home address in Japan. Once your account is set up, you will receive an account book and a banking card (ATM card). Monthly statements are not offered by banks in Japan. Instead, a summary of your bank transactions are printed out in your account book. You can update your account book at an ATM, or at your local branch at your convenience. You can view you transaction records through your bank's internet banking service. Personal cheques are not commonly used in Japan. People prefer to used cash or credit card when shopping or making other transactions. Your banking card can also be used at cash dispensers (CD), where only withdrawals are allowed.
A savings account is essential during your stay in Japan. Usually with a savings account you will be allowed to make unlimited withdrawals and deposits, and monthly interest is applied.
Transactions between accounts within your bank (or even between different banks), are performed via wire transfer at an ATM or through internet banking. Monthly rent and utility bills can be paid through automatic withdrawal from your bank account.
It is possible to withdraw cash using both your registered hanko and account book at your local branch counter. Your registered hanko and account book should always be kept in safe keeping.
Automatic teller machines (ATM) can be found at branch locations, convenience stores or at ATM booths at train stations. To find an ATM location, visit your bank's website. ATM's are usually closed on weekends and national holidays, but 24-hour ATM's have become more available in recent years.
At ATM's, you can make deposits and withdrawals, balance inquiries and update your account book. When making a cash deposit, the ATM will count your deposit and display the amount for you on the monitor. Some ATM's accept coins for deposit. You can make withdrawals in any denomination of ¥1000.
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