Healthcare

Emergency numbers in Japan

When you’re new to Japan, you want to keep the correct emergency number on hand if something goes wrong. Find out who to call and when.

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Updated 15-5-2024

Unlike many other countries, Japan’s emergency telephone number (119) is only for fire and ambulance services. Police can be reached on a separate emergency number, 110. To call the Japanese Coast Guard, you must dial 118.

If your current situation is a little less serious, there are a wide range of other numbers and useful helplines that offer support. Here’s who to call in Japan:

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Emergency services in Japan

Japan (日本, Nihon/Nippon) has several emergency numbers and helplines, which are handy for internationals to know while living in Japan. The most critical ones – in a life-threatening situation – include the following:

DepartmentNumber
Police (警察, keisatsu)110
Fire (火事, kaji)119
Ambulance (救急車, kyukyu sha)119
Coast Guard (海上保安庁, Kaijo Hoan Cho)118
Poisoning (中毒110番, Chudoku Hyakuto-ban)072-727-2499
029-852-9999
Domestic Abuse Hotline (DV相談プラス, DV Sodan Purasu)0120-279-889
Childline (チャイルドライン, Chairudo rain)0120-99-7777
Child Guidance Office’s Child Abuse Hotline (児童相談所虐待対応ダイヤル, Jido-sodanjo Gyakutai Taio Daiyaru)189
Inochi no Denwa Suicide Hotline (自殺予防いのちの電話, Jisatsu-yobo Inochi no Denwa)0120-783-556
Tokyo English Lifeline (TELL) (東京英語いのちの電話, Tokyo Eigo Inochi no Denwa)03-5774-0992 (Lifeline)
03-4550-1146 (Telephone counseling)
Human Rights Hotline (みんなの人権110番, Minna no Jinken Hyakuto-ban)0570-003-110

You can call the police to handle emergencies like car accidents and crimes. But, to report a fire or medical emergency that needs immediate attention, you should contact the fire department, which will dispatch an ambulance with a response time of between eight and nine minutes.

The police in Japan use a variety of vehicles, including sedans, vans, and motorcycles. Most of these are black and white and feature the word “police” in English and Japanese. Fire trucks are often slightly smaller and sleeker than in European countries, but all are the standard red color.

A firefighter digging through rubble after an earth quake
Photo: Ken Ishii/Getty Images

Japan’s emergency numbers get frequent use, and 2022 was a record year with the Tokyo Fire Department receiving 1,036,645 calls, the first time the number went into seven digits.

There were also more ambulance call-outs. Around 872,101 were recorded in 2022 (up from 128,000 in 2021), which was largely related to the Covid-19 pandemic and Japan’s heat wave.

How can you call a Japanese emergency number from abroad?

You must use the international dialing code to call an emergency number for Japan from overseas. This is 81, and you will need to omit the first 0 from the Japanese number.

What should you do in an emergency in Japan?

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you find yourself in an emergency:

  • Ensure as far as possible that you and other people are out of harm’s way
  • Call for the necessary assistance, such as the police, the fire department, or ambulance
  • Look for witnesses and try and get their contact information
  • Take photos or videos, especially if you were in a car accident
  • Ensure you have access to your healthcare insurance information, if necessary

Reputable health insurance providers for international include:

How to reach fire service in Japan?

Fire services in Japan fall under the purview of the country’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA – 総務省消防庁, Somu-Sho Shobo-Cho). It controls a hierarchical structure that covers regional, prefectural, and municipal fire departments. The Tokyo Fire Department (TFD – 東京消防庁, Tokyo Shobo Cho) is allegedly the largest in the world and is responsible for all 23 city wards. However, each city and prefecture has its own subsidiary fire company, such as the Osaka Municipal Fire Department.

Firefighters from the fire service of Japan
Photo: Richard Atrero de Guzman/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The Japanese emergency number for fire incidents is 119. However, you can also call this number for other emergencies, such as medical issues, disasters, or accidents, as the fire departments also dispatch ambulances for medical emergencies and respond to rescue operations.

How to call Japanese police services?

Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA – 警察庁, Keisatsu Cho) sits under the National Public Safety Commission (国家公安委員会, Kokka Koan Iinkai) and is the backbone of the country’s law enforcement and emergency response systems. Several subsidiaries of the National Police Agency are responsible for different aspects of public safety and crime. These include:

  • Community Safety Bureau (生活安全局, Seikatsu Anzen Kyoku) – for community safety, juveniles, and cybercrime
  • Criminal Affairs Bureau (刑事局, Keiji Kyoku) – criminal affairs, investigations, organized crime, drugs, and firearms
  • Info-Communications Bureau (サイバー警察局, Saiba Keisatsu Kyoku) – technology crime
  • Security Bureau (警備局, Keibi Kyoku) – security planning, foreign intelligence, counterterrorism
  • Traffic Bureau (交通局, Kotsu Kyoku) – traffic planning, enforcement, and licensing

Like the fire services, Japan’s police system is organized into regional bureaus overseeing 47 prefectural departments, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. In addition to handling crimes, the Japanese police assist with traffic, parking, crowd control, and emergency response.

You can call the police on the Japanese emergency number is 110. But, in non-emergency situations, you should dial #9110.

Japanese emergency numbers for healthcare and accidents

You should call the Japanese emergency number for ambulances in a medical crisis: 119. However, you might need a clinic or hospital instead, so you must find your closest emergency room via the website of your local medical association (医師会, ishikai). These clinics are often open overnight and on weekends or public holidays. It is best to avoid hospital emergency rooms because they generally only focus on critical situations.

Alternatively, if you are dealing with poisoning, you can call Japan’s Poison Information Service at 07-2727-2499 or 02-9852-9999.

Mental health services in Japan

Japan has numerous emergency numbers for mental health services, so you should be able to find a suitable service. Although some offer general help and counseling, others specialize in particular fields.

A woman sitting in her dark kitchen looking sad and forlorn
Photo: Maskot/Getty Images

Below are a few mental health emergency numbers that can be useful:

You can find a detailed list of mental health services on the Therapy Route website or a registered therapist via the International Mental Health Professionals (IMHPJ) directory.

Japanese emergency numbers for drug and alcohol services

Unfortunately, few services in Japan offer help or counseling for substance and alcohol issues. One of those available is Alcoholics Anonymous Tokyo (アルコホーリクス・アノニマス, Arukohorikusu Anonimasu), which you can call at 080-9194-7089. In addition, there are also treatment facilities, such as the Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center (久里浜医療センター, Kurihama Iryo Senta).

Children, family, and youth services in Japan

There are several Japanese emergency numbers for children dealing with various challenges and problems, from stress and depression to suicide prevention, domestic violence, and sexual abuse.

Girl lying under blanket in bed looking at her smartphone
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Here are a few numbers for child emergency services:

Crime-related services in Japan

Japan has numerous emergency numbers for reporting crimes or accessing help and support if you are a victim. Here are some important numbers to know:

Sexual or domestic violence hotlines

You can find a full list of services and hotlines in the No More directory.

Fraud prevention and reporting

You can report fraud to the Japan Anti-Fraud Organization (JAFO) (日本詐欺防止機構, Nihon Sagi Boshi Kiko) with an online form. If you have a company, you can have it verified (i.e., confirming no fraud allegations, charges, investigations, or tax evasions) by the Japan Company Trust Organization (JCTO) (ジャパンカンパニートラスト, Japan Kanpani Torasuto).

Utilities and telecommunications services in Japan

Home emergencies can happen and often require urgent attention. In each case, you will likely need to contact the company that provides the particular service to your home.

In a kitchen, mum is busy cooking, while dad holds their baby and looks at something on the laptop
Photo: 10’000 Hours/Getty Images

This is because each company will have its own emergency hotline for customer emergencies. For example, call your electricity provider for an electrical emergency or fault.

Below are a few examples of Japanese emergency numbers for utilities and other home issues.

Gas emergency hotlines

Electrical emergency hotlines

  • KEPCO (Kansai): 0800-777-8810
  • TEPCO (Tokyo):01-2099-5007

Japan’s road and traffic emergency services

If you need to report traffic or road issues, you can call several emergency numbers in Japan. For example, for a problem affecting the road, you can dial #9910. If you experience a car breakdown, you usually need to call your specific service provider or insurance company.

The Japan Automobile Federation (JAF – 日本自動車連盟, Nihon Jidosha Renmei) is one of the most popular roadside assistance services. It can be worth becoming a member if you have a car and drive regularly. To call them in an emergency, the number is 05-7000-8139 or #8139.

LGBTQIA+ services in Japan

Although Japan is still a conservative society, some strides are being made for the local LGBTQIA+ community.

A couple from the LGBTQ community (two mums) bottle feeding their baby in their living room
Photo: Tayutau/Getty Images

As such, several hotlines and services offer support to members of the community.

Here are a few LGBTQIA+ friendly Japanese emergency numbers to know:

For a full list of resources, you can visit Tokyo Mental Health.

Japanese support services for people who are homeless

Because there are comparatively few homeless people (ホームレス, homuresu) in Japan, finding homeless services in the country can be a bit trickier. However, there are some local services within each city that can offer support, such as:

Animal rescue services in Japan

Several organizations specialize in animal rescue and welfare services across Japan, though most are specific to certain cities.

Two shiba inu dogs sit side by side and stare curiously into the lens. Outdoor photo
Photo: Anita Kot/Getty Images

These can usually help to find a lost pet or investigate cases of animal abuse.

Here are a few options:

However, in an emergency requiring medical attention, contact a local veterinarian (獣医師, ju ishi), as they will have a far quicker response.

Embassies and services for foreign nationals in Japan

As an international resident in Japan, it is wise to keep the information of your local embassies handy. They can provide the necessary consular assistance in any major emergency, such as a natural disaster. Most countries have embassies in Tokyo (東京), though bigger nations, such as the United States (USA), also have consulates in other cities like Osaka (大阪), Kyoto (京都), and Fukuoka (福岡).

In addition, most embassies and consulates have emergency lines that citizens in Japan can call for help. You should always try and contact the embassy closest to you for the fastest assistance. Below are the links and emergency numbers in Japan for the embassies of major countries:

Where can you report lost or stolen property in Japan?

Losing your things can be frustrating, but doing so in a country where you might not speak the local language can be especially difficult. When you lose valuables – or these are stolen – the best is to call the police non-emergency number (#9110) in Japan or visit the local police station (警察署, Keisatsu Sho) to file a report.

A police officer standing at Tokyo Station
Photo: coward_lion/Getty Images

However, for certain things, you will need to call other institutions, for example:

  • Bank or credit cards: call your bank or credit card provider directly to report lost or stolen cards
  • Mobile phones: contact your service provider directly
  • Passports or ID: visit or call the nearest embassy or consulate of your country of citizenship
  • Jewelry: call the police non-emergency number (#9110) or your local police station and your insurance company, if the pieces are insured

Other useful Japanese phone numbers

There are also numerous non-emergency numbers in Japan, which can be useful for different services. Here are a few that could prove useful:

  • Emergency telephone consultation center: #7119 (if you’re unsure to call an ambulance or go to the hospital yourself)
  • Non-emergency police services: #9110
  • Tokyo Covid-19 Hotline: 05-7055-0571
  • Foreign Residents Support Center: 05-7001-1000
  • NEXCO Highway Radio: 1620kHz
  • Directory: 104
  • Time: 117
  • Weather: 177

Emergency terms and phrases in Japan

Because not everyone in Japan speaks English, knowing a few Japanese phrases in case of an emergency can be useful, for example:

JapaneseEnglish
Kinkyu jitai desu (緊急事態です)It’s an emergency
Tasukete kudasai (助けてください)Help me
Kaji (火事)Fire
Kega o shimashita (怪我をしました)I’m hurt
Kyukyusha o yonde kudasai (救急車を呼んでください)Call an ambulance
Shobosha o yonde kudasai (消防車を呼んでください)Call the fire department
Keisatsu o yonde kudasai (警察を呼んで下さい)Call the police
Isha ni mite moraitai desu (医者に診てもらいたいです)
Isha ni ikitai (医者に行きたい) (short)
I need to see a doctor (for short)