Workforce Payments Guide Japan

Last updated: Dec 18, 2023

Currency
Yen (JPY)
Payroll Frequency
Monthly
Capital
Tokyo
Fiscal Year
1 April - 31 March
Employer Taxes
14.98% - 24.43%
Employee Costs
14.37%
Central Bank
Bank of Japan
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3rd Party Payments

Authority Payments Due Date Methods
Tokyo Tax Office  Monthly; 10th of next month  Pay-easy 
Local Ward Office  Monthly; 10th of next month  E-banking (local payment) 
Pension Office  Monthly; last day of next month  Pay-easy (local payment) 
Tokyo Labor Bureau  Annually; 31st August (once a year). 

Normally the payment deadline is on July 10th 

Pay-easy (local payment) 

Payments Coverage

Papaya Global only supports salary payments. Authority payments need to be transferred from a company’s own local bank account.

Contractor Payments

Papaya Global supports payments to contractors in Japan. The payout currency may vary based on the receiver bank account setup when receiving foreign currencies. Contractors are advised to reach out to their bank to confirm how foreign currencies are handled.

Payroll Frequency

Monthly

KYC

In Japan, the Know Your Customer (KYC) process is a critical part of anti-money laundering (AML) measures. Here are the key steps involved in the KYC process in Japan:

  1. Identity Verification: Service providers are required to verify the identity of their customers. This is done using valid identification documents such as a driver’s license, passport, or alien registration card.
  2. Additional Information: Additional information that needs to be verified includes the customer’s name, address, date of birth, occupation, and the purpose of the business relationship.
  3. Authorization Verification: For natural persons acting on behalf of the account holder, their authorization needs to be verified.
  4. Risk Assessment: For higher-risk customers, the service provider may need to verify the customer’s assets and/or income.
  5. Retroactive Verification: Financial institutions are required to verify the identity of customers upon undertaking specified transactions from pre-existing customers, where customer identification was not undertaken before the implementation of the Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds.

Please note that the exact process can vary depending on the service provider and the nature of the business relationship.

Banking Regulations

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has identified specific actions under three priority themes to move forward the G20 Roadmap for Enhancing Cross-border Payments. Here are some of the key actions:

Payment System Interoperability and Extension

  • Convening a forum for central banks to exchange practices.
  • Fostering fast payment systems interlinking across borders.
  • Finalizing requirements for cross-border payment service level agreements.

Legal, Regulatory, and Supervisory Frameworks

  • Finalizing frameworks.
  • Providing a vehicle for the investigation of the legal, regulatory, and supervisory frameworks that govern cross-border payments.

Cross-Border Data Exchange and Message Standards

  • Enhancing the interaction between data frameworks and cross-border payments.
  • Finalizing ISO 20022 harmonization requirements and promoting their real-world implementation.
  • Improving API harmonization for cross-border payments use.
  • Exploring enhanced use of the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) in cross-border payments.

These actions are part of the FSB’s plan to achieve the quantitative targets set for cross-border payments by the 2027 target date.

Opening a Bank Account

To open a company bank account in Japan, you will need the following documents:

  • Notarized Registration Documents or tokibotohon
  • Seal Registration certificate or Hojin no Inkan shomeisho
  • The seals themselves to stamp documentation
  • Two forms of identification for the person who opens the account (who should be a company official, and ideally the Representative Director). These could be a driver’s license, passport, or residence card.
  • The lease for your main office.

Please note that some banks may ask for extra documentation during the application process. You might be asked for further proof of identity and residence, details about the nature and type of company, and even the lease on your business premises.

As for the duration, it can vary significantly. Between 10 days to 4 weeks. This largely depends on the bank’s strict anti-money laundering (“AML”) and know your customer (“KYC”) review processes.

International Banks

BNP Paribas: This bank was the largest foreign bank in Japan with total assets amounting to 6.36 trillion Japanese yen.

JPMorgan Chase Bank: This bank followed closely behind BNP Paribas, with total assets reaching 6.33 trillion yen.

Major Local Banks

  • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group: This group includes The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation.
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group: This group includes Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
  • Mizuho Financial Group: This group includes Mizuho Bank and Mizuho Trust & Banking Co.
  • Resona Holdings: This group includes Resona Bank, Saitama Resona Bank, Kinki Osaka Bank, and Resona Trust & Banking Co.
  • Japan Post Bank: This bank is a former Japan Post’s banking division and subsidiary of the successor Japan Post Holding.

Payment Tools

There are several local B2C payment tools in Japan:

  • Bank Transfers (Furikomi): Bank transfers, known locally as Furikomi, are a popular method of payment in Japan.
  • Konbini Payments: Konbini payments are made at convenience stores and are the second most common payment method for Japanese e-commerce, after cards.
  • Cash: Cash is still widely used in Japan.
  • Mobile Suica: Mobile Suica is a mobile payment system used in Japan’s biggest cities

Cryptocurrency

In Japan, cryptocurrencies are legal and are regulated under the Payment Services Act (PSA) and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (FIEA). Here are some key points:

  1. Cryptocurrencies as Crypto Assets: Cryptocurrencies and utility tokens such as BTC, ETH, etc. are regulated as “Crypto Assets” under the PSA.
  2. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs): ICOs are subject to the FIEA because the new FIEA amendments legally define ICO tokens as type 2 securities.
  3. Electronically Recorded Transferable Rights (ERTRs): Under the FIEA, ERTRs are cryptocurrency tokens issued with the expectation of profit, such as security tokens.

As for payroll payments in cryptocurrency, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare in Japan has approved a revision to its Labor Standards Act, barring the use of virtual currencies in digital salary payments. However, it is currently not possible to pay payroll payments in cryptocurrency in Japan.

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