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Opening a business bank account from outisde Japan

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  • Opening a business bank account from outisde Japan

    I'm pretty sure the answer will be, "No," but I'm just wondering.

    Would I be able to open up a Japanese bank account outside Japan? And could it be an account for a U.S. based business?

    I would just want to get everything taken care of before I head over there, though it will be 6-10 months away from now. I'd set it up closer to that date, but I need to know sooner or later. I'd be depositing a lot of money, so I'd want to make sure that the Feds didn't try to mess with it going overseas. I deal with currency exchange, so I don't report income until the end of each year, hence worrying about the Feds. I'm going to be traveling to Japan somewhat often, for sightseeing and business, so I'd like to have access to larger funds in case my credit cards get stolen or blocked.

    People have thrown this bank around:
    http://www.shinseibank.com/english/powerflex/oa_fc.html
    They say that I'd have to be a resident of Japan in order to create an account, but I'm asking about a business account. From searching online, it seems impossible for me to open a business account for a U.S. company.
    I'd just like to know if I can do either of these, out of security, safety, etc.

  • #2
    Originally posted by RandomTree23 View Post
    I'm pretty sure the answer will be, "No," but I'm just wondering.

    Would I be able to open up a Japanese bank account outside Japan? And could it be an account for a U.S. based business?
    The answer unfortunately is no. You need to open the account in person, with a personal seal (hanko) and have a copy of your Alien Registration card. They wont even open accounts for tourists, let alone online- they have no idea who you are.

    How will you withdraw or deposit money if you are not even in the country?

    The business you do must be based in Japan and have an address here, also. Citibank might be your only exception.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
      The answer unfortunately is no. You need to open the account in person, with a personal seal (hanko) and have a copy of your Alien Registration card. They wont even open accounts for tourists, let alone online- they have no idea who you are.

      How will you withdraw or deposit money if you are not even in the country?

      The business you do must be based in Japan and have an address here, also. Citibank might be your only exception.
      That's what I was thinking. I'd go there with the 90 day visa, so, yeah, I wouldn't be able to get an account, then.

      I would just wire the money. The problem is I never know if my wallet will get stolen or my credit card companies might freak out, and I wouldn't want to get stuck in Japan with nothing. And the Feds might get worried when moving funds out of the United States.

      I'll have to check up on Citibank when I get closer to my trip.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RandomTree23 View Post
        That's what I was thinking. I'd go there with the 90 day visa, so, yeah, I wouldn't be able to get an account, then.

        I would just wire the money. The problem is I never know if my wallet will get stolen or my credit card companies might freak out, and I wouldn't want to get stuck in Japan with nothing. And the Feds might get worried when moving funds out of the United States.

        I'll have to check up on Citibank when I get closer to my trip.
        correct me if I'm wrong but it sounds like you want to wire money as you dont feel comfortable carrying a large sum of money on you on planes. Usually you are pretty safe here, you can bring travelers checks or a bank check.

        If you have a citibank account you can withdraw money from your US account if you visit an ATM machine, only problem is there are not many around. Mainly in Tokyo and I know there is a branch in Osaka. If you are carrying a large amount of foreign currency (say over $US10,000) you need to declare it when you leave the country anyway. Banks are very skittish about possible money laundering and foreigners carrying large amounts of undeclared currency on them.
        Last edited by KansaiBen; 2011-12-28, 07:31 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
          correct me if I'm wrong but it sounds like you want to wire money as you dont feel comfortable carrying a large sum of money on you on planes. Usually you are pretty safe here, you can bring travelers checks or a bank check.

          If you have a citibank account you can withdraw money from your US account if you visit an ATM machine, only problem is there are not many around. Mainly in Tokyo and I know there is a branch in Osaka. If you are carrying a large amount of foreign currency (say over $US10,000) you need to declare it when you leave the country anyway. Banks are very skittish about possible money laundering and foreigners carrying large amounts of undeclared currency on them.
          That's actually the figure I was thinking about. I am going to have to make periodical trips, and I don't want to have to keep wiring money or what have you. I didn't want to have to keep getting traveler's checks every time I wanted to leave for Japan. And staying there for an extended period of time, I also didn't know what it would be like to have that much money in my hotel room for a month or so. I was thinking it would probably be easier in the long run just to go with a bank account.

          I guess I'll just have to go the Traveler's Check route and hope for the best. I can still cancel them if they are stolen, so it's not much of a problem.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RandomTree23 View Post
            I guess I'll just have to go the Traveler's Check route and hope for the best. I can still cancel them if they are stolen, so it's not much of a problem.
            You may be able to open a Post Office account though Im not sure how easy this is to do, banks usually wont open an account if you are on a tourist visa and have no Alien Registration card. As for keeping money in your room many large hotels have individual safes in the rooms or you can deposit at the front desk for safe-keeping.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post
              You may be able to open a Post Office account though Im not sure how easy this is to do, banks usually wont open an account if you are on a tourist visa and have no Alien Registration card. As for keeping money in your room many large hotels have individual safes in the rooms or you can deposit at the front desk for safe-keeping.
              It seems like I'll just have to keep it in a safe. Or I'll have to marry a Japanese girl and then have an address there.

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