The following accounts can be opened in Japan:

  • Futsu yokin – Ordinary accounts for basic savings.
  • Tsujo chokin – Post Office accounts offering interest rates that are nominally higher than general savings accounts.
  • Teiki yokin – Opened for purposes of securing time deposits; they offer higher rates but impose conditional withdrawals.
  • Toza yokin – This is a current account opened for business purposes, offering check leaves for transactions.

Gaika yokin/Gaika teiki yokin – These are exclusive accounts for maintaining short term withdrawal deposits or long term deposits
in designated foreign currencies.

Multiple Banking Options

In Japan, nonresidents have recourse to three banking options – the traditional Japanese banks operating through the widest national network of branches, the foreign banks that operate individual branches within a limited network, and Post Office banking accounts. The problem with traditional banks and post offices is that nonresidents may face a language barrier, and there would be fewer officials conversant in English. Foreign banks easily overcome this hurdle but are more expensive to transact with.

Documents and papers needed for account opening

  • Passport with visa validation: Visiting Japan on a 90 day Visitors Visa disqualifies a nonresident from opening a bank account, so you need
    a longer stay to qualify.
  • Zairyu Kado or residence card, also referred to as the Gaijin Card: This is a must for account opening.
  • Utility Bill: The most recent utility bill must be submitted as residence proof for opening the account.
  • Inkan or Hanko identification: This is a personalized, hand crafted, and unique seal that is commonly used in legal documentation in Japan.
    Foreign banks may insist on only signatures.

The process of opening a bank account

Opening a bank account in Japan promises to be a simple and straight forward transaction provided you are ready with all necessary documents and papers.

  • You approach a bank and branch that is convenient to you for opening the account, and request an account opening form.
  • If you are unable to approach the bank directly, you can download the form online and submit the application through post.
  • Once the application is approved, you will be required to deposit an initial balance and be ready to maintain a minimum balance to
    avoid penalties.
  • If you have applied for a debit card, the card and pin mailer will be mailed separately to your registered address through post within a
    week of applying.

The Sakura Advantage

Although procedures may seem simple and easy to comply with, opening a bank account may appear to be intimidating and time consuming for nonresidents because of the language barrier. Sakura overcomes the hassles and delays for nonresidents by offering exclusive use of our in house account, free of charge, an account that will remains under the sole management control of the nonresident. This arrangement permits the nonresident to close real estate deals quickly without losing valuable time.