"Anti-Money-Laundering in Japan"


Anti-Money-Laundering in Japan

Cases of money laundering through financial institutions in Japan


On December 1, 2022, The National Public Safety Commission published the “National Risk Assessment-Follow-up Report (2022)” which reported recent cases of money laundering in Japan.


(1)    Deposit and savings accounts misused for money laundering.


In one case accounts belonging to deceased persons or foreign nationals who have returned to their home countries without closing their Japan bank accounts were used to conceal criminal proceeds from fraud, theft, etc. There was also a case in which hundreds of passbooks were seized from the base of criminal operations of a foreigner visiting Japan, who was arrested for illegally soliciting the transfer of accounts through social media, such as buying bank accounts, passbooks, cards, etc.


(2)   Deposit transactions misused for money laundering.


Cases included:


⁃    An offender withdrawing criminal proceeds derived from fraud conducted overseas and transferring them to an account in Japan by disguising them as legitimate business proceeds.


⁃    The depositing of a large number of stolen coins into a third party’s account at an ATM operated by a          financial institution and then withdrawing it in bills at another ATM.


⁃    A Vietnamese individual transferring proceeds from underground banking into the account of a relative who had become a naturalized Japanese citizen with a Japanese name.


(3)   Domestic exchange transactions misused for money laundering.

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Financial Regulations (Regulatory) Response to Anti-Social Forces/Anti-Money Laundering Measures (AML)



Yukihito Machida