How to open up a JP bank account without a Zairyu card?

Discussion in 'All Things Japanese' started by vu7, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. vu7

    vu7 Kouhai

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    Hi there, I live in the US but I desperately want some JP bank accounts. I want to plan ahead. Is it possible for non JP Zairyu card holders to obtain a JP bank account in anyway possible? Or any other accounts and credentials related to Japan without actually getting the Zairyu?
     
  2. Majestic

    Majestic 先輩

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    I don't think you will be able to do that as a tourist or non-resident. You will need to show proof of residence, which is generally done by showing the residence card.
     
  3. jt9258

    jt9258 後輩

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    To open any bank account you will need either a Residence Card or a Japanese issued Drivers License, however since the introduction of the MyNumber system, you may very well need to provide that, which you could not do as you are not a resident.

    Japanese banks will also require foreign residents to close accounts once you leave Japan.
     
  4. Made in Japan

    Made in Japan Kouhai

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  5. jt9258

    jt9258 後輩

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    It may look easy if you are a resident.

    To open an account there is a need to be a resident of Japan and the period of stay as indicated on the Residence Card should not be less than 1 year, also if you check that link you would notice that there is also a requirement to provide the MyNumber.

    Check the PDF link http://www.shinseibank.com/info/pdf/news151230_mynumber_e.pdf
     
  6. Made in Japan

    Made in Japan Kouhai

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    Yep. But on top of that, other banks make you fill in the documents in Japanese. And even your spouse can't fill it in for you!
    Like I said, that's easy as it gets! XD
     
  7. HanSolo

    HanSolo 後輩

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    Not true. Shinsei is garbage and anti-foreigner: stay away from them.

    Original report: Report on attempting to open bank account at Shinsei bank | Japan Forum

    Large and regional banks put up no such bullshit. Yes you need to fill in a form in Japanese, but that's not hard if you take your time and have an app like camdictionary.

    I've noticed this as a general trend though: the banks most foreigners are encouraged to go to are the absolute worst for foreigners. HSBC in HK. Shinsei in Japan. Citibank in VN. Always go to the least foreigner-y bank first.
     
  8. HanSolo

    HanSolo 後輩

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    As for OP: I've never heard of anyone opening a bank account without a resident's card. "Having a Japanese bank account" is really not that cool, so I'd forget about it. In Japan you are a meat unit and all meat units must operate strictly and without question according to nonsense and often injurious rules for the "good" of the colony. In free countries (usually non-1st world countries) you can just walk into a bank with your passport and open a bank account in less than 30 minutes. It's just a place to put money F.F.S.

    So unless you want to beat them at their own game by studying the laws and finding a loophole and expending lots of energy to execute that loophole (like Masayoshi Son did in gaining citizenship without a Japanese surname), I wouldn't bother.
     
  9. vu7

    vu7 Kouhai

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    Great answer. I just wanted to open a Japanese bank+brokerage account so that I would be able to invest some of my money into a low cost Japanese index fund. Do you know if you are there for maybe a couple of years as a student or something, will they close your account and force you to sell off your assets if you leave Japan? And also if they forcibly close your account, how do they know exactly when you'll leave the country? Also will they close your account or force you to update it if your Zairyu card on their bank's database expires?
     
  10. HanSolo

    HanSolo 後輩

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    You can just buy a Nikkei225 ETF in your home country.

    They're not authoritarian in the "gonna get you" manner, they're authoritarian in the "do things our way or get excluded" manner. I've never heard of any such "forcible close" of accounts. They'll cancel your residency when you leave the country, but they won't beam out a broadcast to every company in the country saying "vu7 has left, erase him". That's just not how their brand of authoritarianism works. For now anyway.

    Basically what you want to do is done far more easily locally in your own country.
     
  11. vu7

    vu7 Kouhai

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    What you just said actually makes a ton of sense. You know, Vanguard Pacific mutual fund only costs around 0.10% in fees. And the cheapest Japanese low cost index fund would costs at least 0.17%! I'm talking about that it is actually cheaper to invest in Japanese equities from overseas investment companies that it is to invest directly with Japanese firms! Why is that even a thing and why aren't there any Japanese complaining the high investment cost reality they are being put under on a daily basis?
     
  12. jt9258

    jt9258 後輩

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    Because they are educated to aceept everything and question nothing.
     
  13. Made in Japan

    Made in Japan Kouhai

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    I'm sorry to hear the trouble you've been through. And thanks for the link. Some good info there.
    Several of my friends had the least hassle with them on opening their account but now I know they have their quirks.
    Have you any other candidate? If not which bank you ended up with?
    I hear some people tell me the Japan Postal Bank (Yuucho Ginkou) is rather on the helpful side.
     
  14. HanSolo

    HanSolo 後輩

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    The rule I normally follow is: which bank does my landlord use? Use the same bank & branch as them and you're 'vetted' and also save fees paying rent.

    If I don't have a landlord yet, I'll do one of two things: I'll google which the largest bank in the country is, and which isn't recommended to foreigners, and get an account there. If they block you, go to the 2nd biggest, and so on. Or I'll choose a local regional bank, to illustrate: in Sapporo I'd choose someone like Hokkaido bank.

    I didn't hear any bad things about JP bank, but I didn't try them.
     
  15. mdchachi

    mdchachi Moderator
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    I would question the desire to invest in the Japanese market in the first place. I haven't seen anything to indicate that being a good move for 20+ years. Although I admit I had some Japan focused funds at one point. Not something I would do now unless it's purely for diversification or some such reason.
    When I was working there we actually had to deal with fixing our trading & settlement systems to allow the yields on Japanese Govt Bonds to go to less than zero. I don't remember if it actually happened or not.
     
  16. vu7

    vu7 Kouhai

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    That's a very valid point. Especially considering that the Nikkei index fell even more when the US stock plunges. It's fascinating that when the US stock surges, ex-US stock doesn't surge as much and when the US stock dives, the ex-US stock dives deeper than anyone else.
     

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