In order to open a bank account in Japan, a residence card or a residency certificate is required. Those whose period of stay is less than three months and who are not issued a residence card or a residency certificate will be unable to open a bank account in Japan. Those who have been in Japan for less than six months are considered to be non-residents, and they can open a non-resident yen account, which has limited functions such as withdrawing and depositing, does not allow to send money abroad.

Required documents

It depends on which bank account you would like to open, but here is the basic requirement for opening a bank account.

✔Valid passport

✔Valid residence card (Zairyu card)

✔Valid residency certificate (Jyuminhyo)

✔Hanko (personal seal): some banks do not require Hanko, but signature.

✔Contact phone number

✔A recent utility bill showing your current address

✔Business card, or another verifying document that shows your name in katakana may sometimes be required as proof of your place of employment

English-friendly banks

Most of the major Japanese banks have English websites, but the following is a list of banks that are more popular with foreigners and have extensive information in English.

Shinsei Bank

Shinsei Bank is one of the easiest Japanese banks to open an account for foreigners who have just arrived in Japan. You can open an account via mail, so no need to visit a branch. Also, you don’t need a hanko. Please click here to learn more about the procedure for opening an account.

SMBC Prestia

SMBC Prestia offers comprehensive support in English, such as a toll-free call center where English-speaking staff are available 24/7, full support in English for loan consultation, etc.. You can open an account through internet.

Seven Bank

Seven Bank is an online bank, which is popular with foreigners. Seven Bank ATMs are conveniently located in many places such as 7-Eleven, train stations, and airports. An application to open an account may be made online or by mail. For more information about the application procedure, please click here.