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Bilingual Post Office


15 Apr 2002
The Japanese Postal System is pretty similar to the one I've seen Germany rather than the US type.

Of course, you've got mail and what but you can also use the post office as bank.

The benefit of the Post Office are pretty good.
Better interest rates. lololo ... .02 compared to the norm of .01%
Better hours. Post office machines stay open about an hour later than other banks. Instead of 6pm ... 7pm ... wonderful :)

And now, their ATM machines are Bilingual. English and Japanese. I broke out laughing the other day when I pressed the English button and the machine said "Welcome to the Japanese Postal Savings System" or something else like that. It was really emabrassing since the Japanese all turned and looked at me 😊

The machines are also much more user friendly compared to other banks in town. They have a huge touch screen with jpg pictures (digi camera level) OCR scanner for making deposites that is if you still write on paper. And big clunky buttons from the 70's for elderly people. Nice and big, make a great clunk noise too. No more accidently hitting other buttons. Of course, there is brail too for those who are blind.

I was really impressed but yet after pissed.

If a machine can do English why didn't they add buttons for Chinese, Korean, Spanish, German and French. Dam, it would been just a bit more effort .... oh well.
Probably one more thing Japan has adopted from Germany (next to Civil Code and beer).

If a machine can do English why didn't they add buttons for Chinese, Korean, Spanish, German and French. Dam, it would been just a bit more effort .... oh well.

Perhaps a case for Debito...

@post bank
Not only Germany has post office that also make bank. Several other European countries do.

@international ATM
I was very disappointed by Japanese bank when I arrived in Japan. They all look 20 years backwards and are by no mean international :
1)You can't use any non-Japanese credit cards - this means no visa, master card, cirrus, maestro, you name it. You can't even get a cash advance on your visa at the counter, a service that I have found in remotes little towns in India, Indonesia or Cambodia (because in all other countries you can do it from the ATM, even in Nepal, the Philippines, Egypt and other much less developped countries than Japan). The funniest thing is that all banks in japan sport the Visa logo on their ATM, but it only works for the ones issued in Japan ! How ironical for a country that is the economical and financial capital of Asia (dare I say the world a decade ago...)
2) There is no bullet-proof glass between the customers and the bank staff at the counter.
3) Mizuho bank, the largest in the world, doesn't have ATM's in English (at least not most of them in central Tokyo, but I admit not having checked them all either). UFJ, the 3rd Japanese bank, doesn't have anything in English inside its premises either. Neither these banks offer international remittance service 😲 . Tokyo-Mistubishi and Mitsui-Sumitomo have services in English. You can send money abroad from the former one, but only if you give it in cash at the counter. You can't do it using the money on your account in the same bank !
4) You get charged 160yen for using the ATM after the opening hours including the whole week-end. They also charge you for money deposit during this time (where else in the world would you be charged to deposit your money in a bank ?).
5)You get charged for using an ATM at another bank or combini (but don't if you've an account at the Citibank and withdraw at the same ATM).
6) No 24h ATM in Japan (except at the Citibank, which obviously accepts international credit cards, as it' not a Japanese bank)and all close pretty early (8pm and the whole day on sundays and holidays).
7) You can't pay with your debit/credit card at most shops (supermarket, small retailers, combini, etc.). However, combinis will have ATM inside them (but not for cards of all Japanese banks, depends on the combini). Why can't you pay with the card at the counter and have to withdraw from the ATM 2m behind you ? The point of having a debit card is justly not to have to carry cash with you. In the Benelux, chip card allow people to buy even just a chocolate quickly with your card (without code till 100 euros) and avoid to look in your wallet for coins. When I asked some friends if euro coins had circulated quickly from the 12 countries, they couldn't tell me as they always use their card to pay. In this respect, Japan is really backwards.
8) Most ATM's in Europe have ATM's in several languages (depends on the country, but usually at least English, French, German and Spanish + the country's language(s) if it's not yet there). Citibank has more than 10 languages including Japanese, Chinese, Arabic and the main European languages. Japanese can't argue they have problems with romaji or kanji on their machines. So what is it ? Is it just political ? Did Japan really open completely at the end of the Edo period or after WWII ? If you just look at the bnking system, it's still Edo-jidai.
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1.) 12 years ago in Osaka, I walked up to the nearest machine and pulled about $600 US over 3 months during my stay from my Bank of America VISA card with my US pin number no problem.

2.) Japan is a virtually gunless country. Most robberies are done against vending machines, ATM machines and the trucks that transport the cash. I don't miss the bullet proof glass at all.

3.) True in most cases but many of the larger branches have special service counters now. I don't live in Tokyo either. Actually, a buddy used to move large amounts of US dollars through that counter. For remittances I've always gone to the Post Office so I can't comment about any of the regular banks.

4.) US used to charge and I belive that you need a minimum balance of $100 so that you don't get charged for a certain amount of transactions per month. This might have changed though in the US. Also, the Banks don't really charge high interest rates on loans so I guess it's a trade off. Although, I would love to see a minimum balance account type of service. I've heard that a few banks in Japan charge if you go to the counter.

5.) probably because the banks hate each other and want to keep you in there system. Besides, the ATM lines are probably way out dated.

6.) Yeah, I've always wondered about this. Why the short hours? It's a complete pain in the a_s when you need cash. Might be a way to prevent people from blowing all their money in the drinking districts.

7.) Another pet peeve that I totally agree with. Although, I wonder if this is do with the Japanese society being money based.

8.) hehe, programmers have trouble keeping banks on-line how can you expect them support mulitple languages. I totally agree with you here.

I'm pretty serious about that idea. If I had the means I would. moyashi looks over his shoulder to check if wife is there. If I'm not scoping out nice legs I'm thinking about how I would do something different or how I could make a better profit for a company. Currently I have several ideas that I pretty sure would sell.

A lot of my ideas are already coming to reality and it's totally pissing me off that I don't have the funds.
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@ biz ideas

I can understand you very well, well, I'm afraid you're a couple of years too late, the heydays of venture capital are history, even big companies take no risks anymore. Hm, actually depends on your ideas. Start small, grow big.
I am starting a business called Little Man Consulting.
We do Web Design, Software Developement, Virtual Offices, and things of that nature.

A friend and I are looking into a location for an Americanised "no pan kissa"
lololo, my buddy over here and I were just talking about how we need to get a_ses back into gear. Slacking too much.

Too bad that you don't do perl and C.
oops, I thought you were referring to perl/C+ programming.

hehe, I'd be up for it.

When things look brighter, you just gotta come over here. You find all kinds of things that will spark that ingenuity in you :)
Hello, I'm from France, I was born and raised in Japan, moved to France to study and a permanent resident now. I go to Japan quite frequently and I have a Post Office Savings account because I don't trust the banks in Japan. The special card is a problem, I have around 1,000,000 yen in the account and trying to use it to make withdrawals in Paris is a nightmare. I have a card from France, I use it to transfer amounts of money from this card into the account in Japan. I withdraw the amount, and put it in the account. The ATMs have limits too high. I needed 100,000 yen and typed in the amount but in my confusion I added another zero and basically emptied my account. In France international ATM withdrawal (withdrawals other than in euro) are considered debits and have no limit. ATM withdrawals in France are limited to 200 euro. What really ticks me off is Japanese ATMs, they're complicated, look old, and are difficult to use. Japanese ATMs really have a serious problem, I travel a lot and they're the worst ones to use.
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