Life Abroad

Emergency Services

It’s important to know your options in an emergency in Japan. Read through this section to learn about Japan’s emergency service system, which one to call in different situations, and some helpful vocabulary.

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Poice Emergency  110 Fire, Rescue, Ambulance 119
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110 Police Emergency

Officer dispatch for accidents and incidents requiring police.


Dialing 110 will connect you to dispatch, where you can describe your emergency. The appropriate dispatch will be issued.

Please dial in case of the following accidents or emergency situations (requiring police ONLY).

  • When you witness fighting or hear screaming.
  • When you witness a person who has a weapon, such as a knife.
  • When you witness a suspicious person or vehicle.
  • When you witness or are a victim of mugging or burglary.
  • When you see a fallen person, lost child, etc.
  • When you witness or are involved in a traffic accident

※A police officer will ask you what your emergency is, so remain calm and answer as best you can.

Please check the detail below.
English source:

Japanese source:

Japanese Romaji English Pronunciation
keisatsu Police
jiken Incident
jiko Accident
けんか kenka Fighting
tasukete Help me

119 Fire, Rescue, Ambulance

Fire, rescue, ambulance are same number 119


When you dial 119, you will be connected to the Disaster Emergency Information Center.

These are some questions you may be asked

  • You will be asked if your call is in response to a fire (火事 かじ kaji) or other emergency (救急 きゅうきゅう kyuukyuu).
  • Tell them your location by giving an address or landmark description.
  • Explain the incident and the apparent state of any victims.
  • Give your name and phone number.
  • When you hear the siren, please guide the ambulance as best you can to the area where it is needed
  • Please follow any instructions you are given by paramedics or firemen.
  • (For Ambulance Services) When the ambulance arrives, please announce any first aid or CPR you or others have administered, any changes in the victim’s condition, the past medical history of the injured or sick (if known), and any other information you think is important. Answer the paramedics’ questions as honestly and completely as you can.

※Ambulances cannot be used in the following cases.

- Minor, non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses

- Taxi substitution for going to see a doctor.

- In addition, hospitals will not necessarily see people admitted via ambulance immediately upon arrival at the hospital. How quickly a person will be seen will be determined by the severity of their condition as determined by the paramedics.


※Ambulance services themselves are free, but whether an individual hospital charges a fee varies. When arriving by an ambulance, if the doctor judges that there was no urgency, less than ¥10,000 will be charged. This is to discourage people who are not experiencing an emergency from abusing the system. In order to ensure that people in medical emergencies are able to get emergency care, please do not call an ambulance in situations where an ambulance is unneeded.

Please check the detail below.
English source:

Japanese Romaji English Pronunciation
kaji Fire
kyuukyuu Emergency
kyuukyuu sha Ambulance
juusho Address
jiko Accident
けが kega injury
denwa bangou Phone number
byouin Hospital
byouki Sickness/Illness
Necchuushou Heat Stroke

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