Your bank account is the crux of nearly all of your day-to-day financial dealings, regardless of the country you live in. In Japan, it’s no different. It is essential to have one if you live and work in Japan. The vast majority of Japanese jobs will pay you via direct deposit, rent will often be deducted from your bank account, etc. So it’s easy to see why having one is important. Today we’re going to look at how to get a Japanese bank account through the Japan Post. Let’s look at three different parts of opening a Japanse bank account: 1) Where to go, 2) what you need to bring, and the 3) paperwork
Where to Go
To open up a Japan Post bank account, you can go to your nearest JP Bank. I know many of the Post offices have both a postal services area and a bank services area, but not all of them do. To know of if the branch that you’re going to has both, just look for this logo:
and you’ll know you’re in the right place 🙂
What You Need to Bring
Whether you choose JP Bank, Joyo Bank, UFG, Mizuho or any of the others, the information you need to bring with you will be pretty much the same. Please bring:
-Two forms of personal identification
Your Alien Registration Card, Your Passport, and/or your public health insurance card (I had private insurance when I signed up with JP Bank, so I just used my AR Card and Passport and it worked out just fine).
-The money you want to deposit
-Your address and phone number
-Your Hanko or personal name stamp (optional)
Japan Post Paperwork
The one page of information that you’ll have to fill out should look something like this.
Let’s take a closer look at what you have to fill out. This, the hardest part of the process, really isn’t all that hard once you know what the different fields are asking for. I put different-colored boxes around each field to make them easier to see. I didn’t fill out every single field. The 14 fields shown here are really all you need to get your account open, get your Japan Post debit card and Japan Post bank book:
1. 種類 (しゅるい or Shurui). ACCOUNT TYPE:
You have two choices here. You can either go with number１。通常 (つうじょう or Tsujo)- The general Account or with number２。貯蓄 (Chochiku or ちょちく)- The savings account. With the first account you can deposit and withdraw as you please. But bear in mind with the second account, interest rates change depending on your balance and it can’t be used for direct deposit (salary) nor for automatic payments.
2. 送金機能 (そうきんきのう or Sokinkino). REMITTANCE FEATURE:
Shading in this box enables the remittance function for your new account.
3. 基準額 (きじゅんがく or Kijungaku). STANDARD LIMIT:
What do you want your deposit limit to be? When I signed up, I set my deposit limit as ten million yen. Has my account ever even gotten much money? No way! But it’s nice to have options, should you ever need them.
4. お預け入れ金額 (おあずけいれきんがく or Oazukeire Kingaku). DEPOSIT AMOUNT:
This box is for the amount of your first deposit. I’m not exactly sure what the minimum deposit can be, but I know it’s pretty low. I think I deposited 1000 yen on my first deposit.
5. おところ or Otokoro. ADDRESS:
There is a space for フリガナ (furigana) which are the kana (hiragana and katakana) corresponding the the kanji in your address. There is also a space for 漢字 or かんじ (kanji). If you don’t know how to write your address. If you give your Alien Registration Card to the clerk and say “Tetsudatte kudasai.” The clerk will fill in this part for you.
6. おなまえ or Onamae. NAME:
Just like section number five, there’s a space for furigana (フリガナ) and for kanji (漢字). I entered my name’s katakana in the top, smaller, boxes and the printed, block letters in the larger boxes below. I entered my last name first. ASH, DONALD
7. お届け印 (おとどけいん or Otodokein)。確認印 (かくにんいん or kakunin). STAMPS
This area is where you will use your official seal, your hanko or your inkan. I don’t know the major differences between the otodokein and the kakunin, but my hanko was just fine. Even if you don’t have a hanko, you can just sign here, and it will be okay.
8. 生年月日 (せいねんがっぴ or Seinengappi). BIRTHDATE:
WAIT! Before you rush and fill this out, please note that this is will be written in the Japanese imperial year format. 元号 (げんごう or gengo) refers to the different era names that your birthday falls into. This system is based on Japanese imperial reign. The four options are 1. 明治 (めいじ or Meiji), 2. 大正 (たいしょう or Taisho), 3. 昭和 (しょうわ or Showa), and 4. (へいせい平成 or Heisei). In the interest of time. This is another one you can ask the clerk to do. Write your birthdate on a separate sheet of paper an show it to him or her. They will be able to tell you the imperial date.
9. キャッシュサービス. CASH CARD SERVICE
Okay, nothing too tough here. Just chose one of the following:
1. 通帳 (つうちょう or tsuchou) . カード(card)- You want both a bank book and a card.
2. カード -You only want the card
利用しない (りようしない or riyoshinai)- You don’t want to use this service.
I personally chose option one.
10. キャッシュサービス デビト機能 (きゃしゅさーびすでびときのう or kyashusa-bisudebitokino). DEBIT CARD FEATURE
This box gives you the option of enabling the debit card function on your card.
If you select option 1. 利用する (りようする or riyosuro) you opt in to this service. You will be able to withdraw and transfer funds to the Account of Japan Debit Card Promotion Council. With the cash card you receive, you will be able to use this cash card at member stores and shops affiliated with the Promotion Council. Honestly I had a hard time navigating through this part on my own so I opted not to use it. I chose option 2 利用しない (りようしない or riyoshinai) which means I choose not to use this service.
11.カード種類（かーどしゅるい or ka-doshurui). CARD TYPE:
Here, you choose the type of card that you want.
2. SUICA付カード (SUICAつきかーど or SUICA Tsukika-do)- This is a cash card with a linked SUICA feature. I chose not to do this because I can’t use this type of Suica for commuter passes, which I use almost every month.
8.JPBANK カード (JPBANKKa-do)- This is like a credit card, and I just decided not to even get into that in Japan. Plus there’s an application process and subsequent time lag involved.
9.一般カード (いっぱんka-do)- This is a regular cash card.
I chose option 9 or the regular cash card, which I received in about a week-and-a-half to two weeks after doing my application.
12. 暗証番号必須取り扱い(あんしょうばんごうとりあつかい or anshinbangotoriatsukai) PIN NUMBER SERVICE
I know this looks like a super long word, but it’s just asking if whether or not you want to use the pin number service for in-person withdrawals.
You can choose to 1. 申し込む (もうしこむ or moushikomu) apply. Or option 9. 申し込まない (もうしこまない or moshikomanai) not to apply. I chose option one since I will already know my own pin number. It’s just an added security measure.
13. ボランティア DONATIONS
Almost there, everybody. This section asks if you want to donate money to 1. a general volunteer organization (全般 (ぜんぱん or zenpan)), 2. an environmental organization (環境(かんきょう or kankyo)), or 9. 申し込まない (もうしこまない or moshikomanai)- you don’t plan to donate.
A percentage of your interest (I think my job said it was 20%) will be donated.
14. 性別 (せいべつ or seibetsu). GENDER.
You only have to worry about filling this one out if you chose the Suica option in field number ten.
That completes all the Japan Post paperwork. It seems longer than it really is because I’m explaining it all, but don’t worry, it’s not bad. Once you’ve turned this in, you just have to wait for your debit card to arrive in the mail. I don’t recall, but I think I walked out with my bank book in hand when I was done.
Just to show that it really isn’t that much harder from bank to bank, this is a copy of the paper work from Joyo Bank, another bank in my area.
See? It’s just one form as well. So whether you’re going the Japan Post route, or through another bank entirely, it should be all that difficult. If you struggle at all, or if you think you’re going to have a hard time, taking someone who can translate is always a good plan.
Thanks for reading.
P.S.-I wanted to say a huge Japan Guy thank you to Momoka, for helping me fix some of my translations. あんたは本当に親切な人です。ありがとうございました。