Key word: bankbook/passbook - 通帳 - tsuchou
OK, not the most glamorous of posts but I thought it might come in handy.
Perhaps like many a gaijin on these shores, I am the (not so proud) holder of a Japan Post bank account (probably the easiest one to sign up for in Japan).
I have a bankbook which for many a year, seldom got opened. However, in these austerity years I’ve adopted a policy of more fiscal discipline. Once a month, I stick my book into the machine to give it an update and then pick up the courage to check the financial disaster within.
The other day, it ran out of pages. Apparently, with some banks you can print off new bankbooks at relevant ATMs. This is the post office though - always taking things at a slower pace. So you need to visit a Japan Post branch office (any is OK) to get this done. Also, I’ve changed address since opening the account so that needed updating to.
How To Change Your Post Office Bankbook
It’s easy enough but I’ll lay down the steps here.
Bring your old bankbook, and hanko/stamp (if that’s what you used when you opened the account), and also some kind of I.D. with your current address on it (Registration Card/在留カード/zairyu card will work here).
Pick a number slip from the machine at the post office counter.
When I got called up, I said something along the lines of …
通帳のペイジはなくなった。そして住所も変わりました。/ Tsuchou no page wa nakunatta. Soshite jyusho mo kawarimashita / I’ve no pages in my passbook (that, or they died). And, my address has changed. (Probably appalling Japanese, but it got the job done).
They took my passbook and there was that awkward moment when they leafed through the pages to see the paucity of my funds. I looked at the floor.
I was asked for some I.D. with my current address on it (the Registration Card), and then given a brief form to fill out:
Name - Roman alphabet OK
Address - as above (you need your post/zip code)
Date of Birth: Using the Japanese system of years (find a chart of them here)
Complete form, old bankbook, and I.D. were taken. I took a seat and waited. 5-10 mins later I was called back to the counter and both old/new bankbooks were presented to me. The new book will have your latest ‘stats’ printed (if you dare to look)!
Easily done. Free of charge.