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 put its military on alert on Monday for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, ordering naval destroyers and anti-ballistic missile Patriot batteries to be ready to shoot down any projectile heading for Japan. (Japan Today)
The Japanese government said on Monday it was doing all it could to secure the release of a Japanese journalist being held hostage by an al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, after an apparent photograph of the man was posted on the Internet. (Japan Today)
Fukuoka Prefectural Police are investigating a 29-year-old female sex worker already in custody for attempted murder in a separate case in which an acquaintance fell to her death from a bridge, reports the Sankei Shimbun. (Tokyo Reporter)
A Japanese man was arrested Wednesday in Thailand on suspicion of raping and sexually harassing a number boys aged between 13 and 15 in the country's northern province of Chiang Mai, investigators said. (Japan Times)
A panel of Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department came up with a report on Wednesday calling for legal regulations on the so-called JK business, in which high school girls offer such services as massage and dating. (Jiji Press)