Japanese Tax Blog in English

日本の税務情報を英語で書くブログ by みなと国際会計事務所

It turns more difficult to open a bank account recently in Japan.

time 2017/03/25

Apparently, it became more difficult to open a bank account in Japan. The screening process by banks are very very strict today.

We have a few clients with whom we helped establishing a company and opening a bank account for them. Until a few years ago, it was difficult and it required a lot of documents to provide to banks to prove that these companies are real. For example, we would need article of incorporation, company registration, business brochure, business card and even CV of its representing directors.

Recently we had a chance to talk with credit unions that we wanted to open a bank account for our newly establishing clients. They said that they have to come and check offices of new clients. Presumably, their operation manual requires that they come and check office of new client physically.

That probably explains why we were rejected to open a bank account recently with online banks such as Rakuten. We allowed a client to register their office address in ours. In the screening process, the bank probably noticed it and decided that this is not good.

If there is a rule, there must be reason for it. The most likely reason is probably that the authority want to eradicate criminal money and its money laundering. They set a strict rule on banks to check backgounds of their new clients.

If that is the case, complaining about it will now work. You should make some effort so that you will not look suspicious for that type. You need to look that you have a valid product or service, real people and real “office”. In a nut shell, you need to appear that you are a real business.

I hope that by changing the way you view the situation and the reason that they are becoming difficult, it will be much easier and faster for you to open a bank account, so you will be focusing on your own business rather than spending time on your admin work.


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