What Do You Do in Case of an Emergency in Japan?

There are two different emergency numbers to call for help!


When you are caught in an unexpected situation like emergencies in a foreign country, it is definitely best to know what to do in case of accidents. Here are some of the basic steps you should do when you are faced with an emergency in Japan.


Know who is in-charge


In Japan, cases such as falling incidents, witnessing the scene of a crime, or an accident, police officers are considered to be the ones responsible for responding to these incidents. On the other hand, cases of fire, sickness, or injury are under the control of the firehouse department.


Call the Emergency Number


There are two speed dial numbers you can call for each department. The number “110” is for the police office, and “119” is for the firehouse department.


Note: Upon calling 119, you need to inform them beforehand which kind of emergency you wish to be responded to. In case of fire, you may ask for the fire engine. Meanwhile, if it’s a case of a medical emergency, you may request for an ambulance.


These numbers are available through mobile phone and landline.



You can call from the provided pay phone even without paying. All you have to do is dial the numbers. Some pay phones already have a specific red button for the purpose of emergency calls. In this case, press the red button first, then you may dial the emergency numbers after. Follow the instructions written provided on the phone.


They don’t charge a fee for calling for a fire engine or ambulance. But please keep in mind to only call in the presence of real emergencies. However, if you are required to receive treatment while being transported by the ambulance, you will need to pay for the service at the hospital.


If you want to know more about how to report and what to say, you may visit
Tokyo Fire Department’s website


It is also better to know whom you can ask for help in your mother tongue. Here are the emergency numbers of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Japan: +81-3-5562-1600.


 (18 April 2019)

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