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In Case of Emergency: What to Do

"Assistance for Foreigners at Times of Disasters” is a useful information source created by the Tokyo International Communication Committee. This Q & A type manual covers various aspects when foreigners face trouble in the case of disasters such as earthquake.
Five languages (Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean and Tagalog) are available in PDF format.

Please remember two important emergency phone numbers in case of an emergency. One is“ 110” for the Police Department and the other is “119 ” for the Fire Department. These calls are free in Japan and can be made from public phones or mobile phones.
24-hour duty policemen are assigned to Koban(police box) which are located near stations and various other areas. They patrol the neighborhood, handle theft and other criminal reports, take care of traffic accidents and
lost and found items and give directions.


Call “110 ” or go to the nearest Koban to report the crime. Also contact your bank or credit card company, if your cards or bank cards are stolen.


Regardless of the size of the fire, when you see a fire, you need to dial “119 ” and call out in a loud voice to let the neighbors know it. It is important that you prepare an extinguisher in case of fire. Participate in fire drills in your community and brush up your prevention skills with an extinguisher.

Traffic accident

Dial “119 ” first if anyone is injured, then dial “110 ” for report. If you are involved in an accident, you should record the name, place of work, telephone number, license plate number and insurance status of the other parties. Also get the names and telephone numbers of any persons who witnessed the accident. When the police arrive at the scene, follow their instructions. Please note that NHI (National Health Insurance) does not cover medical costs incurred by traffic accidents. Those costs will be reimbursed at a later date from the voluntary insurance maintained by the party found to be liable for the accident.
Students who are involved in accidents must inform their academic advisors and their department's Educational Affairs Section . Also, they must prepare an accident report and submit it to their department's Educational Affairs Section. The accident report should include the date of the accident, where it occurred, current status, measures taken afterward, details of hospitalization/hospital visits, and whether or not the people involved were insured.

Lost and Found

If you have lost items, report to the nearest police station or Koban as soon as possible.
If you are at a train station or a department store, report to a station attendant or to the lost and found section of the store.

Sudden illness and injury

If your injury or sickness is not serious enough to necessitate calling an ambulance and you think you can make it to the hospital by yourself, use a taxi or drive by yourself.
Call an ambulance on “119 ”, in case of a medical emergency or serious injury ONLY.


Japan is an earthquake-prone country. Please prepare for earthquakes with information on this webpage (prepare for an earthquake) so that you can act in a calm manner if an earthquake happens.

Typhoon・Torrential Rain

Typhoons are a type of tropical storm generated normally between May and November. Japan is approached or sometimes hit by a number of typhoons between July and October every year.

If typhoon or torrential rain hits your area
* Don’t go outside and stay away from dangerous spots.
* Check the weather news on the TV or radio for the latest storm watches and warnings.
* Stay away from flooded streets and from downed power lines.

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