International money transfer policy: Japan

Sep 19, 2019 · 7 min read

All transfers overseas made by Japanese residents and companies are regulated by the Financial Services Agency and Ministry of Finance.

The Financial Services Agency has issued the basic confirmation items and other documents for all financial institutes to tackle money laundering.

Briefly, basic information items include such points as:

・ Is there an important reason for doing business at the branch where applied for remittance

・ Is the customer or its subordinate ruler based in a high risk of funding country / region

・ Why make transfers within a short period of time

・ Is there any irrational point in the purpose of remittance and the amount of remittance in light of the age, occupation, business contents, etc. of the customer

・ Is there a discrepancy between the purpose of transaction at the time of opening an account and the purpose of remittance when requesting remittance

・ Is there any irrational point in transaction frequency and amount, such as sudden deposits and withdrawals of funds that have not been funded.

Government control

According to the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law, a report to the Minister of Finance is required if payment exceeding JPY 30,000,000 (USD 280,200) and is received between Japan and a foreign country or between a resident and a non-resident. When it exceeds, it is necessary to must submit a “Report on Payment or Receipt of Payment”.

Such payment or receipt of payment includes not only those using legal currencies such as Japanese yen and US dollars, but also those made using virtual currencies.

Those are the annual money transfer overseas limits set by government for individuals or company. According to the Bank of Japan Act, monetary policy financial institutes must “continue close communication with the government and ensure sufficient communication”. That is not opened information on the internet about amount of that limits from government but banks and remittance services show their info on the websites, and banks have higher per-transaction sending limit than remittance services. Remittance services typically have a top limit between 500 000 yen ( USD 4,600) and 1 million yen (USD 9,200) per transaction, banks usually set limit per day not per transaction, and its from 1 million yen will 10 million yen (USD 92,800), but an information varies from bank to bank. For instance, one of the bank leader Japan Post Bank Co. and Japan Post Co. plan to limit the amount of funds that can be sent via their overseas bank transfer service to tackle money laundering to 5 million yen (46 500 USD) per day.

Required documents (individuals)

・ Remittance purpose, relationship with recipient, source of funds for remittance, profession and business of sender, nationality and place of residence of recipient, date of birth

When receiving funds to Japan

・ Payment purpose, relationship with the sender, occupation and business of the recipient, nationality and place of residence of the sender, date of birth

・ Confirm that the transaction is not regulated (North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Syria, Crimea)

Required documents (companies)

・ Documents that can prove the funds for remittance

・ Identification documents and accounting materials etc.

OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control)

・ When Iran, the Republic of Sudan, North Korea, Syria and Crimea are included in the location of the parties to the transaction, the countries concerned, and the places concerned

・ In the case of transactions involving Myanmar, transactions involving the Ministry of Defense, the military or other armed organizations

In many cases, regulations regarding remittances to sanctioned countries are often applied, and Japan is sensitive to the above regulations. Even if the purpose is legitimate, it may not accept the remittance procedure.

​Bank wire fees and limits

Nonbank online remittance providers

Cryptocurrency policy

This year the Japanese House of Representatives issued two cryptocurrency-related laws, the Payment Services Act and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. First change that crypto service providers will need to be registered with the Financial Services Agency (FSA) even if they don’t provide crypto exchange or trading services. Secondly, exchanges must change how they store crypto.

To virtual currency exceeds the equivalent of 30 million yen the same rules are applied the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law and report to the Minister of Finance is required.

Major examples of transactions involving virtual currencies that need to be reported:

・Transactions to buy or sell virtual currency, where payment or receipt of payment was made in legal or virtual currency for the transaction

・ Transactions to exchange virtual currency

・ Transaction to transfer virtual currency

・ Payment related to profits, dividends or commissions arising from transactions related to virtual currency, or receipt of payments

・ Deposit or accept payment of deposits when depositing or entrusting transactions related to virtual currency

・ There is an original transaction related to goods, services or finance, and payment or receipt of payment was made in virtual currency for the transaction

ATM withdrawals

ATMs may charge service fees around. If amount withdrawal is 10,000 yen or less (<93 USD) charge is 108 yen (1 USD). If amount withdrawal is 10,000 yen (>93 USD) charge is 216 yen (2 USD)

Also, bank may add an additional fee which depends on the card type.

Credit card

There are no restrictions on the use of Japan-issued credit cards overseas. Basically, VISA, Mastercard and JCB brands can be used overseas. The amount of money you can use varies from individual to individual. The limit is determined by the individual’s income when applying for a credit card.

When a foreigner uses a credit card in Japan. Even if it is a credit card issued by the popular VISA, MasterCard, a card without an IC chip cannot be used. Merchants also to be required to have IC Chip readers for credit cards.

When sending money overseas from a credit card, users can only send money using online providers, for example, Paypal.

Prepaid cards in Japan

Money to Japan

STICPAY for Japan for Japanese customers

Sources: ml hou_20180518.htm¥5-million-day-tackle-money-laundering/#.XXhZoCgzaUk


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