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Open a Bank Account

After your Japanese subsidiary has registered the business, open a bank account in the name of the Japanese subsidiary.
We will explain the process of opening a Japanese bank account with attention to the necessary documents
and important things to keep in mind when opening a Japanese account.

*Please be noted that the following explanation is based on the assumption that the form of the business is a joint stock company (Kabushiki Kaisha, aka KK: 株式会社) or a limited liability company (Godo Kaisha, aka GK: 合同会社).

The first thing is to check if your bank has a branch in Japan

When opening a bank account, you may be a little lucky if your bank in your home country has a branch in Japan. It is only “a little lucky” because the branch's services in Japan are generally very limited and do not have comprehensive banking services.

As of 2022, there are only seven branches of foreign banks that are members of Japan's national bank domestic exchange system (全国銀行内国為替制度), as listed below.

Branches of foreign banks that are members of the Japanese national bank internal exchange system

  • Citibank, N.A., Tokyo Branch

  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Tokyo Branch

  • Bank of America, N.A., Tokyo Branch

  • The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Tokyo Branch

  • Deutsche Bank AG, Tokyo Branch

  • BNP Paribas, Tokyo Branch

  • Commerzbank, Tokyo Branch

None of the banks offer comprehensive services in Japan. They may be helpful in transferring funds to and from your home country; however, they are most likely not helpful for daily remittances and deposits within Japan. Therefore, you need to open an account with a Japanese domestic bank sooner or later.

Image by Chiara Daneluzzi







Open an account at a Japanese domestic bank

There are more than 100 banks, trust banks (信託銀行), shinkin banks (信用金庫), and other financial institutions in Japan. Nevertheless, we recommend you first open an account with one of the four largest city banks (Mizuho Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Resona Bank) that offer services throughout Japan.


In addition, we recommend that you open an account with a direct bank that offers cheaper transfer fees and convenient cashless services. With few exceptions, most direct banks do not have brick-and-mortar bank branches. Each bank offers different fees and services, so please research beforehand.

Procedure for opening an account

The process for opening a bank account varies slightly from bank to bank. Generally, it involves detailed checks due to the Japanese regulatory authorities' anti-money laundering and anti-social forces measures. You will probably be asked to submit the following documents when opening an account.

(1) Seal (Inkan) used for bank transactions (LINK to our article about Seal)  

(2) Cash

(3) Certificate of Complete Historical Records (履歴事項全部証明書)

(4) Articles of Incorporation (定款)

(5) Identification documents of the representative

(6) Lease agreement for office, etc.

(7) Documents that illustrate projected sales and payment (if any)

(8) Company brochure or pamphlet (if any)







Opening a bank account without a representative director in Japan

In the past, it was possible to open a bank account even if the representative director (代表取締役) resided overseas, as long as there was a Japanese national assisting with the procedures. However, due to strict compliance requirements, the screening process for opening a corporate bank account has become rigorous.


As a result, it is almost impossible to open a bank account if the representative director is a foreign national and resides overseas. Furthermore, it is also almost impossible to open an account if the representative director does not have an address in Japan, even if the other directors are Japanese residents.

Suppose your bank in your home country has a branch in Japan. In that case, it may be relatively easy to open an account with the bank (depending on the bank's internal rules, it may be possible to open an account in Japan even if the representative director is not a Japanese national and resides overseas).


If you are considering expanding your business to Japan, please contact Quantum Accounting Inc. for a free consultation during the planning phase or general consultation (available in both English and Japanese). Quantum Accounting's professionals are experts in accounting, tax, legal, and labor issues. Our goal is to provide you with a one-stop professional firm for all the services you need to expand your business into Japan.


We are confident that we can help you. For further information, please contact from CONTACT US.

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