Numbers for police, ambulance, fire and rescue services: who to call and what to say in an emergency...

Emergency Numbers in Japan

There is no guarantee that any English will be spoken on any of these emergency and helpline telephone numbers. All numbers can be called free from fixed landline, public telephone or mobile cellular phone. You should be able to describe your location (address) in Japanese or find someone who can.

Ambulance / Fire Tel: 119
Police Tel: 110
Coast Guard (Sea Rescue) Tel: 118
Tokyo English-speaking Police Tel: 03 3501 0110 (weekdays 08:30-17:15)
Tokyo Emergency First Aid Association Tel: 03 5276 0995
Drug Overdose and Poison (Yokota USA Air Base) Tel: 0425 52 2511 Ext 57740

In the event of an emergency:

  • Dial 119
  • In the event of a fire, say "Kaji Desu"
  • If an ambulance is required, say "Kyuu-Kyuu Desu"
  • Do not hang up until the dispatcher understands the address and telephone number
  • Send someone outside to meet the emergency services vehicle if required

If the patient has a preference for a certain hospital they should tell the ambulance team who, if possible, will take them there.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Institution Information Service provides an emergency translation service over the telephone.

  • Tel: 03 5285 8185

Japan Help Line is a charity providing 24-hour worldwide emergency assistance and general advice. It has English-speaking volunteer operators.

  • Tel: 05 7000 0911


What to stockpile for emergencies in Japan

Japan is a relatively active area because of the tectonic plates crossing each other near and in the country. We all remember the 2011 Tohoku earthquake with a massive magnitude 9.0, where a tsunami destroyed everything in its path near the coast and made Fukushima a wasteland because of the nuclear plant. If we look even more recently, Japan has been struck by minor secondary earthquakes quite rapidly and they are expecting a large one to occur soon. Therefore it is important to be prepared at all times for any kind of disaster happening including a large typhoon.

We have created a list of basic important items for One (1) person, which you should have in possession in case of such emergencies, to at least have a greater chance to survive for an extended period; as much as 3 days when struck beneath Tokyo. To follow suit on how much you actually need, just multiply it by the amount of people you are living with.

  • The most important is to have clean drinking water, for 3 days it means that you need to have at least 6 litres (2l bottle x3) prepared, as we need at least 2 litres of intake a day.
  • You will also need a portable stove with gas cartridges (6).
  • Household medicines, 1 pack of 2-3 kinds. (don’t forget bandages!)
  • An emergency toilet is important as well (3 a day), however only 20% of the Japanese households stockpile these.
  • A flashlight with batteries, remember no flashlight will hold out without extra batteries.
  • Handwinded radio, to keep up to date with emergency broadcasts and rescue operations.


Should preserve


In prepration during emergency


  • Staple foods: Pre-washed or pre-cooked rice
  • dried noodles
  • Canned fish/veggies
  • Canned fruit
  • Ready-made food(retort)
  • Vegetable juice
  • Beverages (500ml)
  • Dried foods (cheese, jerkies)
  • Candies
  • Supplements
  • Condiments

5 kilograms



1 pack (3 sachets)

2 cans

1 can

3 packs

3 bottles

3 bottles

2 bottles

1 pack


1 sort

1 bag

1 type




< Quick cooking is wanted.

< Can eat it without heating

< missing vitamins/minerals

< doesn’t require heating



Basic needs

  • Plastic bags or trash bags
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tissues
  • Toiletpaper
  • Wet tissues (hygene)
  • Contacts if needed
  • Handwarmers in case of cold periods
  • Lighter

30 bags


1 box

1 box

3 rolls

1 pack

1 month


3 pieces

1 piece

  • Emergency Cellphone with extra batteries.

< Cover plates = no washing

  • Latex gloves
    • Have clean hands without washing.


  • Pantyliners

2 packs

< Use those you’re used to.


  • Powdered milk



  • Baby food
  • Baby wipes
  • Diapers

10 stick typesx2 (if allergies)


1 weeks’ worth

1 pack

1 pack (70 pices)

< During disasters possibly unavailable in store. Use as normal.

Older people

  • Soft foods
  • Household medicines (prescribed)
  • Hearing aid batteries
  • False teeth detergents

1 weeks’ worth

1 sheet


6 pieces

1 box (30 uses)


< Possibly unavailable in stores during disasters, use as normal.


Optional things to do

  1. Setting up an optional reservation date, so that you know when to restock in order to keep the stockpile fresh and up to date
  2. Make appointments with people around you to set up a central place people can gather, and prepare for such disaster, so that people can stay calm during emergencies. Examples include:
    1. Make a local homepage where people can donate books so there is entertainment during emergencies when SNS are not available.
    2. Share recipes that can be used during emergencies
    3. Make an appointment on when everyone stocks so that you can make sure it is available for everyone
    4. Create a plan to give lessons to children on how to deal on emergencies


Most important thing to think about: Do not only take care of your own family, help other people who might have issues to survive, or are injured as they most likely cannot move to a hospital during a disaster

Japanese Emergency Words

English Japanese
My address is Watashi no jusho wa _________desu
Next to Tonari
My telephone number is Watashi no denwa bango wa_______desu
Bleeding Shukketsu desu
Broken bone Kossetsu desu
Burn Hidoi yakedo desu
Chest pains Mune ga taihen kurushii desu
High fever Kou netsu desu
Injury Kega desu

Byouki desu