The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Japan is an industrialized nation in the top 25% of the world's economies. Located in eastern Asia between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, it is a primarily mountainous island chain. Its climate varies from tropical in the south to cool temperate in the north.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, Japanese encephalitis, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, or tick-borne encephalitis. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)No statement given.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: None.
Drug resistance: Not applicable.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
Minimal risk exists throughout the country. Community sanitation is generally good, and health concerns related to food and beverages are minimal.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Other Food-Borne Illnesses
Precautions to prevent seafood poisoning may be needed.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to potential nuclear radiation, Canada (GAC) and Australia (DFAT) advise avoiding travel to the districts and towns around the Fukushima Dalichi power plant that have been designated as exclusion zones by Japanese authorities. U.S. (DOS) and U.K. (FCO) have no current warnings.
Low risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country.
Risk of sexual assault and low risk of petty crime exist in Tokyo, especially on subways and commuter trains and in the entertainment and nightlife districts of Roppongi, Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Ikebukuro. Low risk of violent crime (armed robbery, sexual assault, carjacking, and murder) and petty crime exists throughout the rest of the country.
Scams involving credit cards and charging exorbitant fees for services have been reported.
Rent water sports equipment from reputable operators. Scuba dive only with personnel certified by PADI or NAUI, and use equipment only from PADI- or NAUI-certified dive operators.
Low risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is < 7 per 100,000 population, the lowest risk category.
Traffic flows on the left-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the civil aviation authority of this country oversees its air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards.
The typhoon season is from May through December, especially in southern areas, including Okinawa Prefecture. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Winter storms occur. Avalanches may occur, especially in Hokkaido Prefecture and western areas of Honshu Island.
Seismic and volcanic activity frequently occur.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Japan
- United States: [+81] 3-3224-5000; jp.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+81] 3-5412-6200; www.japan.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+81] 3-5211-1100; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-tokyo
- Australia: [+81] 3-5232-4111; japan.embassy.gov.au
Japan's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.us.emb-japan.go.jp
- In Canada: www.ca.emb-japan.go.jp
- In the U.K.: www.uk.emb-japan.go.jp
- In Australia: www.au.emb-japan.go.jp
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.