Can I Withdraw From a Foreign Bank Account Using a Japanese?

By Donald Ash | Articles

Do you know if it’s possible to withdraw money from your US bank account here in Japan?  I asked this question to countless foreigners and coworkers living here in Japan.  I would get the same answers over and over again: “I’m not sure,” “I’ve never tried it,” “I don’t know.” Well I needed to ship something home today and the Japan Post wouldn’t let me use a debit card.

I decided to figure this out once and for all if I could withdraw money from my US bank account here in Japan.

Armed with my Paypal card and good intentions, I apprehensively put my card into the ATM, pressed the English Guide button.  The ATM prompted me to put in my pin number.  I entered my number.  Then I was prompted to enter an amount.  I put in 2000 yen and crossed my fingers for luck.  Deep breath…waiting…waiting…incorrect pin…d$%n it!  I tempted the fates one more time and put in my card.  I entered my pin again and the amount that I wanted.  Deep breath…waiting…waiting…machine sounds…flipping of bills…IT WORKED!!

Because it was a question that many people have asked, I decided to make a video at my local post office to prove it’s possible:


Paypal is a wonderful global service for making and accepting payments, so I can withdraw funds quite easily little fees involved (it was around a 2% withdrawal feel, if I calculated correctly).  I honestly don’t know if all banks allow overseas withdrawals, but I know that Chase and Paypal work just fine here in Japan.

Until next time,

Donald Ash


About the Author

Donald Ash is an Atlanta, Georgia-born, American expat who has been living in a Japanese time warp for the last eleven years. While in that time warp, he discovered that he absolutely loves writing, blogging, and sharing. Donald is the creator of blog. Wanna know more about this guy? Check out his "What's Your Story" page.

  • Cam C. says:

    I can verify that I was able to get 7-11 “Seven Bank” ATMs working with my Canadian bank card (CIBC) and I know several other people who have used them as well. I was only able to take out 30000yen (my daily limit is $400CAD) per day but that’s not too bad in a pinch.

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