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Money

Cash Withdrawals

If your card has the logo “Cirrus” or “Plus” on it, then you can withdraw cash from nationwide ATMs conveniently located in post offices, Japan Post Banks, Citibank, as well as Seven Bank ATMs.

There are approximately 26,700 Japan Post Bank ATMs at post offices and branch offices of Japan Post Bank, and over 18,000 Seven Bank ATMs located in one of the biggest convenience store chains, Seven-Eleven. You will be able to easily find one near your home or office, whether you are in Tokyo or Yokohama. Because Seven-Elevens are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you can withdraw cash anytime, day or night, at your convenience.

Opening a Bank Account

You may open accounts at banks by filling out an application form and showing a resident card (former: alien registration card). Some banks may require a personal seal, but often, just your signature will be sufficient.

Both Citibank and Shinsei Bank provide services in English, including online banking. Be aware that many other Japanese banks do not offer any English information or support at the counters.

Transferring Money within Japan

You can use the ATM for national bank transfers, even without a bank account, if the amount is less than 100,000 Yen. You can save on the transfer commission by opening an account at a bank. Transmissions between accounts at the same bank are the cheapest option.

Transferring Money Overseas

Overseas money transfers take at least 2 business days to roughly 1 week. You can make a transfer from Japan Post Bank’s branches or post offices handling overseas money transfers for a commission of 2,500 Yen. From other banks, the cost will be 4,000 Yen or more. If intermediary banks are involved in your transaction, they may deduct intermediary fees from the amount transferred. For details please inquire each bank.

Due to the deregulation in April 2010, overseas money transfers have become available via channels other than banks. These include services on the Internet, money transfers from convenience stores, and even through mobile phones. In general, commission fees are lower and it is also faster, with some services taking only a few hours to complete transfers. To use Seven Bank overseas money transfer service you are required to open a bank account at Seven Bank.
    

Banks & Money Transfer Services

Citibank Japan Ltd.

Phone: 0120-50-4189 (toll-free) or 045-330-2881 (from mobile phones)

JAPAN POST BANK Co., Ltd. (from Japan to overseas, website in Japanese only)

Phone: 0120-108420 (toll-free) | Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-6:00pm, Sat/Sun/N.H./Dec 31-Jan 3: 9:00am-5:00pm | Holidays: None

Seven Bank, Ltd.

Phone: 0120-937-711 (toll-free)

Shinsei Bank, Ltd.

Phone: 0120-456-860 (toll-free, Japanese only)

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Phone: 0120-3242-86 (toll-free, Japanese only)

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

Phone: 0120-56-3143 (toll-free, Japanese only)

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

Phone: 0120-860-777 (toll-free, Japanese only)

docomo Money Transfer

Phone: 0120-005-250 (toll-free)

GoRemit Shinsei Overseas Remittance Service

Phone: 0120-227-503 (toll-free)

SBI Remit

Phone: 03-5652-6759

Seven Bank International Money Transfer Service

Phone: 0120-937-711 (toll-free)

Taxes

In Japan, the main types of tax you will have to pay are income tax and residence tax. An 8% consumption tax (Shohi-zei) is charged on all purchases. There are also taxes for owning cars and property.

Income Tax (Shotoku-zei)

Income taxes in Japan are determined by the following criteria:

  • Status of Residency (Non-Permanent Resident, Permanent Resident, or Non-Resident).
  • Source of Income (paid in Japan or paid outside of Japan).
  • Total taxable income earned.

Individual income tax is based on the self-assessment system, but if you are working for a company, the tax will automatically be deducted from your salary based on expected earnings. You will be required to fill in a form at the end of the year specifying if you have any additional sources of income or tax deductible expenses. The difference between the estimated and actual tax amount is added to or deducted from future pay checks.

If you are not working for a company, it is your personal responsibility to file a tax return once a year. The tax year runs from January to December, and tax returns for the previous year should be filed by the middle of March (Kakutei-Shinkoku).

Many countries have a tax treaty with Japan so that you do not have to pay income tax in both Japan and your home country. For more details, contact the tax authority of your home country.

National Tax Agency Japan

Residence Tax (Jumin-zei)

You are required to pay residence tax if you have been living, or plan to live in Japan for more than 1 year. Therefore, if you are employed by a company, you will be required to pay. You should pay tax to the municipality in which you were living on January 1. In most cases, it will be automatically deducted from your salary.

Pensions

Japan has 2 types of pension plans, Kosei-Nenkin (Employees’ Pension) and Kokumin-Nenkin (National Pension). Both are run by the government.

Japan Pension Service

Employees’ Pension

If you are a full-time employee, you and your family can apply for Employees’ Pension. Your company will automatically deduct the premiums from your salary each month. 50% of the premiums will be paid by your company.

National Pension

Anyone over the age of 20 who is not employed by a company, such as students or freelancers are required to enroll in National Pension. You will need to apply at your local municipal office.

When you leave Japan, you can claim a lump-sum withdrawal payment, but you must meet certain conditions in order to apply.

  • You do not have Japanese citizenship.
  • You have enrolled in the system for at least 6 months.
  • You must not be living in Japan.
  • You must not have received any benefits from the plan.

Employees should ask their company for details. English information and an application form for the National Pension withdrawal payment is available at your local municipal office. You should start the application within 2 years of leaving Japan. When your application is approved, the payment will be made to your bank account.

International social security agreements to avoid enrollment in the pension plans of 2 countries are in effect with Germany, the United Kingdom, South Korea, the United States, Belgium, France, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain, Ireland, Brazil, and Switzerland. Generally, nationals who are posted to Japan for fewer than 5 years will not be required to enroll with the Japanese pension plans.