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Monday, May 01, 2006

ATM Japan


ATM, Nishi-Shinjuku subway station, Tokyo, Japan.
In spite of the credit cards and the myriad other cards that inhabit the consumer scene in Japan, it is still a predominantly cash-oriented society. In fact, over half of Japan's gargantuan national wealth is said to be in the form of cash and savings, as opposed to barely 15% in the United States.

Tansu yokin, literally 'chest of drawer savings' is still popular here, meaning a huge amount hoarded at home, sometimes literally under mattresses. News stories sometimes surface of people who have accidentally thrown out millions in the garbage during a spring clean.

ATMs are therefore everywhere. From the middle of this decade there has been a massive increase of them in stations, making for a great increase in convenience compared with a few years ago when they were mainly limited to banks and operated within restricted hours.

Listen here to the dulcet cyber tones of a Japanese ATM voice as a customer beep-beep-beeps through a cash withdrawal.

Information here on Banks in Japan

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