Travel with medication in Japan
Travel with medication in Japan
Before you come to Japan, you need to see and talk with your home doctor if you could bring your medication to Japan.
You also need to ask them to write a “Medicine certificate” in English, which is different from the prescription.
If you have chronic diseases, you should always keep your medical, treatment and medicine certificate in English with you while traveling in Japan. Should you go to the clinic/hospital in Japan, those documents can help you tell the doctors about your condition smoothly and get the proper treatment.
Even if you are asked about the medication at immigration gate, you can explain the medication using those documents, so that you can go through some procedures to come to Japan smoothly.
ATO Travel Sheets – Travel with medication
Take the ATO Travel Sheets in Japanese with you explaining you need to have your medication with you. Download them here.
Especially, regarding liquid medication, the amount of liquid you can bring to the airplane is limited. Thus, you should ask pharmacists that they pour the liquid medication into a bottle smaller than 100 ml and put the label on the bottle so as to know the name of the liquid medication.
Amount of medication
When you come to Japan, please bring more of your medication than usual. Please put your medication into carry-on baggage considering the case that your suitcase might be lost.
Additionally, if you want bring powdery medication such as Chinese medication, you might have doubts if you bring some – illegal – drugs, so you should bring the packed medication with the official name on its box or bottle.
Regulation for importing medication to Japan
The following is a regulation of importing medication or drugs announced by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan. Please refer to the website of the Ministry (website is in Japanese) or the following that I have translated the parts of the regulation into Japanese.
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
Usually, in the case that people individually import or bring back something from abroad to use for themselves, generally you need to submit the necessary documents to the Regional Bureau Health and Welfare so that you get a proof that this import is not marked for sales.
However, if something you want to bring into Japan is in the following categories, you can import especially after you are checked in at immigration gate. Of course, importers use them for themselves is premise, thus something imported cannot be sold and given to others.
It is not allowed to import something for others either.
Japanese pharmaceutical affairs law regards hair growing tonic, bath salt and health drink etc. for humans as quasi-drug. These are dealt with as medicament in terms of personal import.
Even if products are sold as food or supplements abroad, food containing medical components and/or including medical effect and efficacy, it may be applied to as a medicament in Japan.
External medication (excluding liquids and powdery medicine)
External medicine should be normal size, 24 medications within one kind of external medication.
・External medication: medication for skin such as ointment, eye drops.
・Prescription medication: medication needed to be prescribed by doctors because these should be taken effectively and safely.
・Powerful or prescription medication: within one month dosage.
・Medicament, quasi-drug other than above: within two months.
Medicine or drugs that may cause serious health problems by personal use that do not follow the doctors instruction are not allowed to import by person unless the prescriptions from the doctors are confirmed regardless of the amount of the medicament.
Other details, please contact below.
Address of applicant of medicament import report
In terms of import of medicament, quasi-drug, cosmetics, and medical devices, please ask medical investigators of Regional Bureau Health and Welfare before your organize your travels.
North and East Japan Regional Bureau Health and Welfare
TEL : 048-740-0800
FAX : 048-601-1336
South Japan Regional Bureau Health and Welfare
TEL : 06-6942-4096
FAX : 06-6942-2472
TEL : 098-854-2584
FAX : 098-834-8978