Photo: Twitter/@RIORAO

ATMs in Japan are saying they’ll transfer your money back in time to 1989

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Japanese convenience stores really do have everything, from beautiful desserts that look like a slice of crystal-blue water to craft beer bars. But just when we thought they couldn’t get any more awesome, one convenience store chain has apparently added its most amazing amenity of all: time machines.

On Sunday, Japanese Twitter user @RIORAO stopped into a branch of convenience store chain Lawson, where he used the in-store ATM to deposit some cash into his bank account. However, the machine informed him that due to a banking holiday, the funds wouldn’t show up in his account that day.

Instead, according to the photo @RIORAO tweeted above, the funds would be transferred on May 7, 1989.

“Right now, you can use Lawson ATMs to transfer money to the past,” tweeted @RIORAO, and other commenters were quick to marvel at this convenient application of space-time manipulation.

“Are you a time traveler?”

“I was still a starving student in 1989, so I’d like to send my old self a few extra bucks.”

“In 1989 I was working in the bubble economy, so I’d rather have my old self transfer some of the excess cash I didn’t need then to me here in the present.”

“Hey, May 7, 1989 is the day I was born!”

“’The Deposit that Leapt Through Time!?’”

▼ A Lawson ATM


However, Lawson is indeed just a humble convenience store chain, and not a complex cover for a network of super-science agents who slip through the ages keeping us safe from time crimes. As such, what’s going on here is actually a programming glitch, and not a way to create an alternate timeline in which we’re all filthy rich.

As mentioned above, a banking holiday, coinciding with the Golden Week spring vacation period, is what’s keeping the funds from being transferred the same day @RIORAO was feeding the cash into the ATM. Golden Week isn’t the only big event going on in Japan this week, though. The even bigger story is the abdication of Emperor Akihito.

In Japan, the reign of each emperor is marked by an era name. For example, the era name for Akihito’s reign has been Heisei, which began at the moment of his coronation in 1989. Because of that, in Japan 1989 can also be referred to as Heisei 1, 1990 as Heisei 2, and so on, making 2019 also Heisei 31.

In modern Japan, most people use the Western naming convention for years in casual conversations, but the imperial era year system is commonly used in legal and financial documents. That includes many banking forms and systems, while the Lawson ATM user display shows Western years, apparently its internal programming runs on the imperial calendar, and that’s where the time travel glitch gets triggered.

Ordinarily, the ATM’s logic would go like this:

● Funds received April 28, Year 31

● Funds to be transferred May 7, Year 31

● Display May 7, Year 31 as “May 7, 2019”

There’s one problem, though. On May 1, when Crown Prince Naruhito becomes emperor, the era name will change to Reiwa, and Japan will be in the year Reiwa 1. Apparently the Lawson ATMs have been updated to understand that, and so the machine registers the transferred money on May 7, Year 1. However, apparently the process to convert the imperial year to the Western year that the display shows wasn’t part of the update, and so the ATM is converting Year 1 as though it were Heisei 1, or 1989.

That answer leads to an even bigger question: Internally, is the banking network the ATM is connected to taking Year 1 to mean Reiwa 1 or Heisei 1? Will the transfer be recorded as happening in 2019 despite the user display saying otherwise, or is the banking system actually going to try to process the deposit as though it was made 30 years ago, and if it does, will @RIORAO suddenly be the recipient of three decades of accrued interest, at least until the bank flags it as an irregularity and makes a correction?

Those are just some of the things we’ll have to wait until the Reiwa period to find out.

Source: Twitter/@RIORAO via Jin

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japan announces new era name, Reiwa, but what does it mean and why was it chosen?

-- Say “thank you” to the Heisei era with a can of Hesei air

-- Twitter users say Japanese Prime Minister’s name is hiding in the kanji for Japan’s new era name

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Just as well the gov didn’t press ahead with changing the clocks by an hour for the Olympics. Chaos avoided.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In many ways, it still is 1989 in Japan.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

In many ways, it still is 1989 in Japan.

Pity the bonuses aren’t.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

apparently its internal programming runs on the imperial calendar

I doubt that. I'm pretty sure the internal logic goes more like this:

Funds received: 1556453181000

Funds to be transferred: 1557216000000

I'm guessing it's only the conversion routine for display purposes that is knackered.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Great. Go ahead and deposit it. Imagine the interest you'll earn over 30 years by May 7 2019. Oh wait. Sorry. This is Japan. Pretty much zero.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

“Western year”?? No. Gregorian Calendar year. Yes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What was back in 2000? K2...

Reset ya era clock to 1 not 0....Day 1 tomorrow.

Backed up my computer and changed all of my 26 character passwords.

Got change all my household and business accounts.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And all this could be avoided if they just drop the era system and go with the rest of the modern world.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ah_soApr. 30  05:05 pm JST In many ways, it still is 1989 in Japan.

Were that only true.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Can I wire $20K to myself back to 1989 with a short message, a list of which stocks and assets to buy?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is like a Dr. Who episode that's come to life.....I love it !

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

go with the rest of the modern world.

Is that the place where we argue over what 02/03/19 means?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Is that the place where we argue over what 02/03/19 means?


1 ( +2 / -1 )

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