Three major Japanese banks say that they will revamp their ATMs to allow customers with credit cards issued in foreign countries to make yen withdrawals.
Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui banks took the action after a request from the government. Japanese officials are trying to increase the number of foreign visitors.
Japan has traditionally been a strictly cash-based society. A growing number of retail shops accept credit cards issued in foreign countries, but few banks allow the cardholders to withdraw yen from ATMs. This situation has been inconvenient for foreign tourists.
Japan has been stung by its third political scandal in a week after the country's new industry minister - whose predecessor resigned over allegations of misspending - admitted that his staff had spent office money at a sex bar. (The Guardian)
The government said Friday it has chosen Nobel physics prize laureates Shuji Nakamura and Hiroshi Amano and five others as this year's winners of Japan's top cultural award, the Order of Culture. (Kyodo)
In possibly a legal first, a female civil servant on Tuesday sued the government over what she calls institutional sexism at the ministry she works for, citing almost two decades of blocked promotions and pay raises. (Japan Times)