Welcome to our guide on emergency preparedness in Japan. Whether you’re a resident or a traveler, being ready for potential crisis is crucial. Here’s how you can get yourself prepared.
Stay Informed Before Emergencies
Japan’s “J-Alert” System
The Japanese Government has an emergency broadcasting system called “J-Alert.” This system ensures that critical information reaches people in affected regions during various crises, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, civil protection, and more.
“J-Alert” employs various methods to communicate with the public. For example, an alarm may chime during TV programs and an alert message may scroll across the top of the screen. Loudspeakers stationed in communities may broadcast warnings. This system extends to radios and cell phones. “J-Alert” also warns about other threats such as missile launches.
The Japan Meteorological Agency, a primary source for many of the crisis alerts in Japan, has a webpage in English. Japan’s Cabinet Secretariat has a portal website with information on civil protection.
Social Media for Latest Updates
Stay connected with us through social media for timely updates and important information.
Japan’s cellular network is very resilient and can be expected to remain in service even after a major earthquake with minimal interruptions; however, if cell service isn’t available after a disaster, you can receive emergency information in English over local radio stations such as AFN (American Forces Network) or InterFM (English language news alerts).
Some stations to monitor are:
Emergency Phone Numbers in Japan
An emergency phone call can be made free of charge from any phone, including public pay phones in Japan. Learn how to make an emergency call and communicate with the dispatcher.
Ambulance – Dial 119
Fire – Dial 119
Police – Dial 110
Types of Disasters
Role of the Embassy
The Japanese Government will be responsible for assisting foreigners immediately after a major disaster. Telephone services will be severely overloaded, and the Japanese Government will restrict phone use to priority users. Nonetheless, the Embassy will quickly want to ascertain the welfare and whereabouts of American Citizens.
To aid in this process, American citizens should cooperate with Japanese authorities at evacuation sites and clearly identify themselves as Americans. Those connected with larger organizations such as companies, schools, or church groups should try to let these organizations know of their welfare and whereabouts if this is practical.
The Embassy will be in touch with the Japanese Government and with larger umbrella organizations to attempt to identify as many American citizens as possible and determine their welfare.
We will pass as much information as possible, and subject to the Privacy Act, about the welfare of individual U.S. citizens back to the Department of State in Washington, D.C. so that this information may be shared with your families, friends, and employers.
U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan
Preparations Before a Disaster
Be proactive and ready for any situation – Get your “Go Bag” and “Stay Bag” together. If you have pets, don’t forget about them. Visit FEMA’s website for ideas on how to build your Go Bag or emergency kit. You can also download our printable checklists.
Essential Supplies (Store enough for three to five days)
Effective planning is key to staying safe. Work with your family to come up with a plan to communicate and find each other in the case of a crisis.
Immediate Steps After a Disaster
Japan’s Free Public Wi-Fi in the Event of a Disaster
Japanese telecommunications companies have recently agreed to provide accessible public Wi-Fi (SSID: 00000JAPAN) free of charge during national emergencies or natural disasters. This service reduces the strain on their collective cellular networks and enables international visitors, including those without Japanese SIM cards or international plans, to remain in communication during a crisis. This service is compatible with most types of devices.
The information above is general information provided to the Embassy by the relevant local authorities and is subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The U.S. Embassy assumes no liability for inaccuracies in the information above. U.S. citizens wishing to obtain any further or more tailored information must contact the relevant local authority.