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Semiconductor Shortage Halts "Suica" & "PASMO" Sales

Source: Japan Rail Pass

Tokyo, Japan - The global semiconductor shortage has reached the transportation and payment card industries.

In Japan, JR EAST's "Suica" and "PASMO" have temporarily suspended some card sales due to the problem.

Why it matters:

  • The semiconductor shortage is spreading from various global industries to the daily transactions of Japanese consumers.
  • Stakeholders in Japan's technology and transportation sectors should be aware of these changes.

The Key Points:

  • Sales of unnamed "Suica" and "PASMO" cards have been suspended as of June 8, 2023. Sales of named cards will cease on August 2, 2023.
  • Ongoing discussions with card manufacturers regarding future production will continue, but the outcome is unknown.
  • Certain services will continue to be offered. Current cardholders can continue to use their cards for standard rail, bus, and electronic transactions. These cards can also be recharged at ticket vending machines and other locations.

The big picture:

The semiconductor shortage is challenging for many industries worldwide, including transportation and electronics.

The delay in transit cards, critical to many Japanese commuters, underscores the real-world impact of the shortage.

Despite these hurdles, there are signs of adaptability. In areas such as Aomori, Morioka, and Akita, both types of "Suica" cards remain accessible.

The "Welcome Suica" IC card for short-term foreign visitors will also be available in selected locations, although with some limitations due to production uncertainties.

Similarly, certain unregistered "PASMO" cards will remain accessible. In addition, a campaign related to "ApplePay PASMO" has been launched.