Due to the the world-wide semiconductor shortage JR East announced (June 2nd, 2023) that they will temporarily stop the sale of "Suica" and "PASMO" cards because of production shortages. Starting from August 2, 2023 both unregistered and registered Suica cards will be discontinued. However, if you are visiting Japan you will still be able to purchase a card. As of now (August, 8th 2023) there is no date of when sale will be re-continued. Since only the production of these cards has been halted, current card holders will be unaffected.
What are Unregistered and Registered Transportation Cards?
Registered transportation cards were previously created at the time of purchase. When buying a card, you registered it by inputting your personal information so that if it is lost, you have a better chance of it being returned. Additionally, if that card is lost, you would be able to transfer the remaining balance to a new card. Unregistered cards look like the ones pictured in this article, with no name printed on the card and no personal information attached to them. These are the items that are being discontinued.
What is still available?
Reissuance services for lost cards will remain unchanged. Moreover, the sale of specialized cards like "WelcomeSuica" and "PASMO PASSPORT," geared towards short-term foreign visitors in Japan, will remain available.
Additionally, the Suica App is unaffected, though it is only available on the Japanese App Store.
As of August 2nd, you can only get Welcome Suica cards from specific locations. These include:
JR-EAST Travel Service Center at Narita Airport Terminal 1 and Narita Airport Terminal 2,3 Stations
Vending machines at Narita Airport Terminal 1, Narita Airport Terminal 2,3
Haneda Airport Terminal 2, and Haneda Airport Terminal 3 Stations
Due to the shortage, purchases are limited to one Welcome Suica per person.