Emergency Calls in Japan: Where to Call if You don’t Speak Japanese?




What would you do if you have a car accident? What would you do if you have severe pain in your stomach? Do you know what number to call?


This post summarizes important contact numbers in case of emergency in Japan.



Emergency Calls in Japan

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Each country has different number for emergency. For instance, it’s 000 (triple zero) in Australia, while it’s 911 in North America. What about Japan?


Japan uses different numbers for police department, medical emergency and fire.



Need an Ambulance? If You are Sick…

If you need an ambulance, call 119.

Yup, it’s similar to 911.

The operator would ask your name, the nature of emergency and your location.

If you cannot move due to pain or injury, request an ambulance and paramedics would take you to a hospital.



Need a Fire Truck? If You Find Fire or Smoke…  

If there is any fire or suspicious smoke, call 119.

It’s the same as the medical emergency. Tell the operator where you are and she or he will send (a) fire truck(s) as soon as possible.




Need Police? If Someone Attacks You or Steal from You…

Under the circumstances, if you feel you are not safe, someone attacks you or steals something from you, call 110.


110 is directly connected to police station and they will assist you to secure your safety.


If it’s not emergency, call #9110 or 03-3501-0110.



Need to Look up Numbers? If You Want to Know Phone Number…

If you need to call someone but not sure what number to call, you can call 104 for information.

The operators help you find right phone number based on the name of a person or name of the company.

They can only tell you the numbers of individuals or companies that have registered the phone numbers into the system.



What if You don’t Speak Japanese?




If you don’t speak fluent Japanese and cannot communicate with operators in Japanese, ask an English speaker by saying “English please” or “Eigo de Onegaishimasu” (英語でお願いします).


If they don’t have any English speakers or they don’t understand what you are saying, hang up and call 0570-000-911 to reach Japan helpline.

This organization answers your call 24/7.



What is Japan Helpline?

Japan Helpline is non-profit, nationwide emergency assistance service.

They basically help you for anything and answer any questions or concerns you have.


For instance, if you have a toothache during the night, call them.

If there is a big earthquake and you don’t know what to do, call them.

If someone is following you from the station, call them.


For more information see this → Japan Helpline



You can also send message to them if it’s not emergency.

Click this for the form → Contact Form


The best part is that they speak English and it’s FREE!!





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To recap:

・Call 110 when you need to talk to police officers

・Call 119 for fire and medical emergency

・Call 104 to find out specific phone numbers

・Call 0570-000-911 (toll free) for emergency or non-emergency matters if you prefer to speak English


In case of emergency, you may forget what number to call, so save this article or save the phone number on your phone.


It’s funny that I’ve never made emergency calls in Japan but I did a couple of times in Canada.

I hope you don’t have to call them!!




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