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Taiwan EasyCards to be used in Okinawa from July

Only co-branded cards will be valid: reports

A Yui Rail train in Okinawa (Photo by Hugues Mitton).

A Yui Rail train in Okinawa (Photo by Hugues Mitton). (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The EasyCards now used mainly for Mass Rapid Transit and bus travel in Taipei City will be used on the Japanese island of Okinawa from next July, the EasyCard Corporation said Friday.

The cooperation with the Yui Rail service in Okinawa City is the first time EasyCards will be used overseas, the United Daily News reported. In Taiwan, the cards are not only used for public transportation inside and outside the capital, but also to make payments in shops.

Since Okinawa is a favorite holiday destination for Taiwanese, its rail system was the first to be chosen for the cards’ use abroad, EasyCard Corporation said. The island would function as a testing ground before eventually expanding all over Japan.

The company pointed out that only co-branded EasyCards, i.e. those linked to a bank account, will be able to be used due to their “autoload” function, which allows their value to be automatically topped up without the use of cash.