Plight of 'Mizuho refugees' stirs debate on banking services in Japan
Japan Times -- Jul 22
Imagine wrapping up a tough work week and jumping into a three-day weekend and find out the whole ATM system is down until the following Tuesday.

That was reality over the Marine Day holiday weekend, at least for those using Mizuho Bank. Mizuho Financial Group Inc., the parent of Mizuho Bank and one of the country’s largest financial institutions, halted ATM and online banking services over those three days to conduct data transfers. This move left many without a way to withdraw funds. Other banks, including Prestia, also limited service, but Mizuho attracted significant online attention.

Luckily for them, social media never shuts down, offering a place to commiserate with others and complain about Japan’s cash-centric society, which continues to persist in 2018. So many people ended up affected that a popular buzzword emerged online — “Mizuho nanmin” (“Mizuho refugees”), which spread across Twitter and other social network platforms. It was an episode of inconvenience that showed how internet users in Japan gripe, and a rare moment when many voices came together around a shared topic to vent.

Like most viral frustrations in 2018, Mizuho did offer plenty of advance warning on this one. The bank’s website laid this info out along with future dates where services will be shut down (make your notes now). It was also advertised on TV and on trains across the country, but it could be understandable that someone could miss the spot airing and, uh, not pay attention during their commute. Mizuho also sent plenty of emails and letters announcing the news to users, however. My sources for this? My inbox, both digital and physical.

News source: Japan Times
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