Japan Today

Japan Post Bank to cap int'l transfers to counter money laundering


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.


©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

I thought these rules were designed to stop rich people sending their money out of Japan, the stuff they tell you about needing to stop "terrorist funding" is a lot of cobblers.

I have never tried to bring money into Japan as I'm sure it would lead to grief. I'm trying to keep my overseas assets and Japanese assets completely separate. Deny everything, admit nothing, shred all paper records.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The difference with Japan is almost every bank and employees insistence that everyone can only have 1 bank account...oh wait, ok, two is the max. Meanwhile every J-person in line has a stack of them and uses the atm as their own personal banking center.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

From my experience, money transfers or invoice payments to recipients outside of Japan is highly discounted by Japanese banks and accountants, not for reasons of money laundering, but to simply keep the transactions within the Japanese economy.

This appears to be another attempt to limit overseas remittances, quite popular among foreigners particularly from emerging nations like the Philippines. With Japan’s growing population of foreigners to support a declining Japanese population, the trend of overseas remittances is likely to grow significantly.

One alternative we may see people taking to skirt transfer limitation is to use cryptocurrencies. Stable coins will become the quickest, least expensive and most convenient way to transfer money or pay invoices out of Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Almost every country you open a bank account in needs to know what you need an account for. That’s not something strange. Japan simply interviews you or reads from a questionnaire. Other countries make it conversational.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan faces an assessment this fall by the Financial Action Task Force, an international standard-setting body that promotes steps to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

You have to wonder how much truth there is to this article when some of the biggest banks like HSBC ($1.9 billion fine for money laundering) and Deutsche Bank (senior management involved in $20 billion Russian money laundering scheme) have been caught doing the very same thing themselves, and on a scale which makes the plan to limit 5 million yen on ordinary account holders look like loose change. The punishments these TBTF banks receive compared to the crimes committed are relatively light.

I might be wrong but the ¥5 million cap sounds more like a pretext to place further restrictions on the public and small businesses and to further interfere in our lives. It obviously has little to do with "combating money laundering and terrorist financing." Otherwise many of these banks would have been forced to close based on their criminal activities.

The World’s ‘Regulated’ Banks Wash More Than $2 Trillion Every Year

At the same time, the banking system that they regulate is used to wash trillions each and every year using schemes like shell companies, bogus supply chain invoices, smurfing, and ‘mirror’ trades to hide funds that stem from illegal acts. In the last decade, few notable bankers or financiers have been jailed for financial crimes and money laundering [...] Since the last financial crisis, dozens of the world’s financial institutions have been caught laundering money and slapped with petty fines. [...] Illicit funds are moved and obfuscated from the public eye using the traditional banking system in a variety of ingenious ways.


"My number" was supposed to be for tax/official government purposes only, yet now it seems some banks need the information too.

Yes, it's funny how these things quietly sneak in.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Use transferwise, cheaper and you transfer the money to a local account first so no questions. Once I uploaded my ID I did 1 million yen transfer, no questions, done and in the overseas account 2 days later.

Agree absolutely transferwise are great - Avoid XE Money Transfers they will LOSE your money !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They already seem so strict. Opening a bank account at even a regional bank means you have to explain why you need it and they decide whether you can simply open an account or not. Transferring money means you have to explain "in detail" what the money will be used for. I have finished the transaction, and then been called on the phone to explain it clearly again--even for amounts of less than $1,000. Lately, where I just wanted to send $500 US, it was much, much easier to just buy US cash (no questions asked to buy cash), send it by EMS, and insure the envelope for $600 equivalent, and you only pay an extra $1 for that insurance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Use transferwise, cheaper and you transfer the money to a local account first so no questions. Once I uploaded my ID I did 1 million yen transfer, no questions, done and in the overseas account 2 days later.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That limit is actually pretty high. The average person isn't consistently transferring ¥5,000,000 or $45,000 at one time.

Transfers in the US are not limited by amounts; however, at certain limits, different steps have to be taken. At ¥320,000 a report has to be sent to the government. Multiple transactions and/or amounts over ¥5,000,000 require a suspicious activity report and that means the bank you sent the money from as well as the bank you send the money to will have to answer a lot of questions.

These rules are not that outrageous. Seems somewhat standard.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


You're referencing an English nuance that doesn't exist in Japanese.


-2 ( +0 / -2 )


Why was transfer made over the internet? Explained that is how my UK bank works and how I do almost all my banking now over the internet.

Did you also tell them the UK doesn't use fax machines as often as in Japan?

I won't be sending money from my home country to Japan. Everything is one-way - OUT of Japan. Nothing to invest here, and no bank interest.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

All these regulations and checks are for mere mortals, the ruling elites and their rich clique easily launder hundreds of millions to their tax haven offshore accounts using loopholes purposely created for that.

Animal farm

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese banks are so hopeless.

If I had to pay now in Japan, I would use my bank card directly to get cash accumulation from ATM !

It is immediate, free (you get the day FX currency echange rate, no fee) and no question asked.

You just need to modify on your internet account your monthly limit withdrawal (needs one minute).

The only pain would have is to multiply the withdrawals since I believe machines limit to 1 million yens each time.

How do rich people do it ?

It is against human rights in my opinion to ask questions and make you pay fees for no reason.

Who can believe you launder money when you are a standard citizen paying taxes and have been receiving a monthly salary for years ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Over last few weeks have needed to transfer money from UK for reform work. Remembered from past dealing with the bank best to keep transfers under 1 million yen. In the past has been a painless process. Money is transferred to my wife's account as I only have a Japan Post account that we were told could not be used from overseas transfers.

Sent money from UK to my wife's and after a couple of days no notification from the bank this end of the transfer. Then a phone call from them, the money had arrived but they needed to interview us. Questions, Questions, Questions.

Provided requested ID

Why was transfer made over the internet? Explained that is how my UK bank works and how I do almost all my banking now over the internet.

Why do you need the money? Reform work, new bathroom. They wanted builders to talk with them.

Why did I not open an account with them? Told them in the past that they refused to give me an account.

They went over an old loan request my wife had made in the past, she could not remember it. She has been a customer 25 to 30 years.

Finally they would release the cash in about a week. We advised we would transfer some more cash soon. They advised we tried to use someone else first.

Spoke with Japan Post Bank and they confirmed we could make a transfer to my account with them. They gave me the required information to make the transfer from the UK. I made the transfer and very quickly it was rejected. Back to Japan Post Bank who gave me another piece of info required. This was rejected as well. Rang Japan Bank help line and finally found out they only receive transfers in Euro's or Dollar's.

Made transfer to wife's bank, told to come in for another interview and bring more ID and estimate from builders. Finally they released the cash to us and when we tried to withdraw some of the cash, the questions started again.

I understand that the Banks in any country have to be careful. I have no problem with them having to make some checks, but it always feels like they really do not trust you. We were advised if you make an overseas transfer from overseas more than 1 million yen, we would need to add My Number.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Regional banks plan to take similar measures.

The reason for starting with Japan Post Bank is to gain public understanding. The real purpose is to monitor transfers being made via Regional banks. The government understands that remittances to North Korea and South Korea and China are via regional banks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

1984 in 2019!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"My number"

What genius thought of that?

"Do you have my number?"

"Your number?"

"No, your my number"

"My your number?"

"Yes, your my number"

"My number?"

"Yes, my number"


6 ( +9 / -3 )

If you have been wiring money internationally via your bank from before a certain date, you still don't need to give your "my number" when sending money overseas. The banks will try and tell you that you need to, but depending on your situation you don't need to... yet.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Still a massive number.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

5m ten in cash? That is a ridiculous amount.

A lot of banks will ask question for well under a million yen, whether it's from a bank account or in cash.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

...address concerns that such transfers could be used for illicit activities, including terrorist financing...

Any proof that it has ever actually happened? Or just another panic by J-Gov.

My local bank now requires my company to provide evidence of payment everytime I receive money from overseas, usch as invoices, contracts, estimates, etc.. Not even the 'Big Three' ask for that.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"My number" was supposed to be for tax/official government purposes only, yet now it seems some banks need the information too. 

The govt website added a clause about international bank transfers, last time I checked.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The three banks implemented stricter ID checks on holders of savings accounts from June 10, including verifying the purpose for opening or holding an account. Regional banks plan to take similar measures.

This was put in place down here with the three largest local banks over a year ago. It caused a serious problem for a friend of mine who was wiring money to his son"s university for a tuition payment. The bank held the deposit for 10 days, prior to completing the transfer.

A couple of the banks also required the submission of the "My number" as well, and that bugged the hell out of me as the "My number" was supposed to be for tax/official government purposes only, yet now it seems some banks need the information too. (That is the "stricter ID check" I'll bet!)

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites