American Citizen Services
Medical Resources in Japan
While medical care in Japan is good, English-speaking physicians and medical facilities that cater to U.S. citizens' expectations are expensive and not widespread. Japan has a national health insurance system which is available only to those foreigners with long-term visas for Japan. National health insurance does not pay for medical evacuation. Medical caregivers in Japan require payment in full at the time of treatment or concrete proof of ability to pay before they will treat a foreigner who is not a member of the national health insurance plan.
U.S.-style and standard psychiatric care can be difficult to locate in major urban centers in Japan and generally is not available outside of Japan's major cities. Extended psychiatric care for foreigners in Japan is difficult to obtain at any price.
U.S. prescriptions are not honored in Japan, so if you need ongoing prescription medicine you should arrive with a sufficient supply for your stay in Japan or enough until you are able to see a local care provider. Certain medications, including some commonly prescribed for depression and Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), are not widely available. Please see the section entitled, "Confiscation of Prescription Drugs and Other Medication," in the State Department Country Specific Information page regarding the importation of medicine into Japan. Also see information on importing medicines into Japan and the below list of medical facilities in Japan.
Good information on vaccinations and other health precautions can be found via the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Medical Facilities in Japan
- TOKYO's list covers Tokyo, Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Yamagata, and Yamanashi.
- OSAKA's list covers Osaka, Aichi, Ehime, Fukui, Gifu, Hiroshima, Hyogo, Ishikawa, Kagawa, Kochi, Kyoto, Mie, Nara, Okayama, Shimane, Shiga, Tokushima, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama.
- SAPPORO's list covers Akita, Aomori, Hokkaido, Iwate and Miyagi.
- FUKUOKA's list covers Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga and Yamaguchi.
- NAHA's list covers Okinawa and the Amami Oshima Island group (which is the southern island group of Kagoshima Prefecture).
AMBULANCE IN JAPAN: DIAL 119
- Information on how to call for help
- List of U.S. based Air Ambulance/Med-Evac Companies
- Medical licensing authority in Japan: Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
SEARCH BY PREFECTURE:
Further information is also available on Importing or Bringing Medication into Japan for Personal Use.
Information for international travelers can also be found on the Center for Disease Control Travelers' Health site.
The State Department features important health related information as well on the Bureau of Consular Affairs site.
An alternate source of medical referrals is provided by the AMDA International Medical Information Center of Japan. They also provide telephone help in English. Call 03-5285-8088 in Tokyo (9:00 - 20:00), or 06-4395-0555 in Osaka (Mon-Fri, 9:00 - 17:00). Assistance in Chinese, Spanish, Korean and other languages is also available. AMDA can also help you with questions about the Japanese health insurance system.
International Mental Health Professionals Japan offers an online, searchable database of mental health professionals throughout Japan. You can search for a care provider in a number of ways, including by location or languages spoken.