TOKYO (AP) _ The New York-based Citibank and Japan's Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank announced Tuesday they will link their automatic teller machine systems beginning in January, allowing customers to use the ATM facilities of both banks.

Citibank is the largest commercial bank in the United States, while Dai- Ichi Kangyo is the largest in the world in terms of assets.

Bank officials said it will be the first time for a Japanese bank to link its on-line branch network with that of a foreign bank.

As of Jan. 14, customers will be able to withdraw money and check their account balances on ATMs belonging to both banks, the banks said.

The officials said the agreement will improve Citibank's customer services in Japan by providing a nationwide ATM network, and will help expand Dai-Ichi Kangyo's business ties with Citibank in the United States.

Dai-Ichi Kangyo currently has 360 branches in Japan, while Citibank has six, the banks said.