Visa International has asked the Japanese government to allow acceptance of foreign-issued Visa cards at the 24,000 automated teller machines in that country's Postal Savings network.

Those ATMs have been restricted to cards issued in Japan.

In a recent letter to Japan's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Visa International president and chief executive officer Malcolm Williamson, said a liberalized acceptance policy "would represent a truly significant step in the development of global financial services in Japan."

He said Visa cards are accepted at 500,000 ATMs in 120 countries, but only 600 Japanese ATMs take international cards. Broadening acceptance is "particularly important given that Japan will be the host country to a number of international events, including the G8 summit in Okinawa in 2000, which will bring many international visitors."

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