Western Union Expands Rapidly in Japan


Only two years after entering Japan’s lucrative remittances market, Colorado-based Western Union has expanded to over 8,860 agent locations and 16,000 ATMs
throughout the country. Japan’s remittances market is worth US$4.7 billion annually. The rapid expansion has come, in part, through partnerships between Western Union and banks and retailers in Japan.

“The international money transfer industry is now providing much-needed services to both Japanese citizens and many of the over 2 million foreign nationals in Japan in both urban and rural locations,” says Drina Yue, Western Union’s Senior Vice President for Asia-Pacific. “Thanks to advanced consumer technology in Japan, we have been able to introduce a variety of service channels in less than two years.”

In 2010, the Government of Japan relaxed restrictions in the nation’s money transfer industry allowing Western Union to obtain a license that same year. The story of Western Union’s entry into Japan has been one of remarkable success.

With the addition of Japan, the Asia region is the largest money transfer market for Western Union which operates 200,000 agent locations in the region, nearly half of the 485,000 agent locations worldwide.