While the “Land of the Rising Sun” is often at the forefront of innovation across multiple tech industry segments, occasionally getting dibs on dreamy variants of popular smartphones, the world’s fastest-growing mobile payment service needed quite a bit of time to reach Japanese shores.
Originally launched way back in October 2014 stateside, then finally expanded to the UK in summer 2015, and further brought to countries like Canada, Australia, China, France and Russia over the past year, Apple Pay had to wait and adapt to local standards in terms of contactless spending habits.
At long last, the iPhone and Apple Watch-compatible digital wallet app can support both traditional NFC technology and the FeliCa-based Suica system folks in Japan are much more familiar with. This will allow you to safely and easily settle public transport fares nationwide, as well as general purchases at many vending machines sans carrying around physical cards, but only if you buy custom-made iPhone 7 or Apple Watch Series 2 units featuring special chips.
Otherwise, or if you want to try out Apple Pay on older gadgets, you’ll still be able to electronically store credit and debit cards from American Express, Aeon, Credit Saison, d Card, JCB, MasterCard, MUFG, Orico, SoftBank or View Card, but actual usage at POS terminals might be severely restricted.