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Japan – Emergencies

Japan is a country with a robust healthcare system, but emergencies can still happen. Knowing how to handle an emergency and where to go for help can save lives. In this article, we will answer the following questions about emergencies in Japan:

  • What is the phone number to call for emergency medical assistance in Japan? Include information for mental health emergencies
  • Where can you go for emergency medical treatment in Japan?
  • Is emergency treatment free in Japan or is there a cost involved? Is insurance required?

Phone Number for Emergency Medical Assistance in Japan

The phone number for emergency medical assistance in Japan is 119. This number can be used to call for an ambulance or for any other medical emergency. It is important to note that while English-speaking operators are available, they may not always be available depending on the time of day and the location. Therefore, it is helpful to learn some basic Japanese phrases to communicate your emergency.

For mental health emergencies, there are several options available. The Japan Helpline is an English-speaking hotline that can provide support and referrals for mental health services. The number is 0120-277-009. Another option is to contact TELL, a confidential mental health support service. TELL can provide assistance in English and other languages. Their hotline number is 03-5774-0992.

Where to go for emergency medical treatment in Japan

There are several options for emergency medical treatment in Japan. In case of a life-threatening emergency, it is best to call an ambulance by dialing 119. The ambulance will take you to the nearest emergency department.

For non-life-threatening emergencies, there are several options available. Most hospitals in Japan have an emergency department that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is important to note that not all hospitals have English-speaking staff, so it is helpful to have a Japanese-speaking friend or translator with you.

If you are in Tokyo, there are several hospitals that have English-speaking staff and are accustomed to treating foreign patients. The following hospitals are recommended:


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  • Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic: This is a private clinic that offers emergency services to non-Japanese patients. They have English-speaking staff and can provide medical care for a wide range of emergencies.
  • St. Luke’s International Hospital: This hospital has an emergency department that is staffed by English-speaking doctors and nurses. They also have a 24-hour medical interpretation service for non-Japanese speakers.
  • Keio University Hospital: This hospital has an International Center that can provide medical care and interpretation services for non-Japanese speakers.

Emergency Treatment in Japan

Emergency treatment in Japan is not free, and there is a cost involved. However, the cost of treatment is generally lower than in other countries. The cost of treatment depends on the severity of the emergency and the type of treatment needed. It is important to note that without health insurance, the cost of treatment can be quite high.

If you are a foreigner living in Japan, it is important to have health insurance. If you are employed in Japan, your employer is required to provide health insurance. If you are not employed, you can purchase health insurance through the National Health Insurance system. If you are visiting Japan, it is recommended to purchase travel insurance that includes medical coverage.

In conclusion, emergencies can happen anywhere, and it is important to know how to handle them. In Japan, the phone number for emergency medical assistance is 119. There are several options for emergency medical treatment, including hospitals with English-speaking staff. It is important to have health insurance in Japan, as emergency treatment is not free.


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