Disaster information by prefecture

Click on the map to jump to the disaster information page of that prefecture.

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Minato City multilingual information

Japanese page

For other languages, please use the automated translation function located on the upper right of the Japanese page listed above.

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Crimes and accidents

The police can be contacted 24 hours a day anywhere in Japan.
To contact the police: Dial 110 (no area code) to report a crime, theft or traffic accident

  • Briefly explain the situation, such as whether a traffic accident or a crime such as theft has occurred. If someone has been injured, the police will arrange for an ambulance.
  • Give your name and address
  • Give a location or building for the police car or ambulance to come to

Police box (

A police box or koban is a small building, usually on a street corner, where police officers are posted 24 hours a day. Not only do these police officers patrol the surrounding area to prevent and crack down on crimes such as theft and violence, they also handle a wide range of other activities such as traffic violations and accidents, provide directions and serve as a lost and found.
If you lose something while not at home, please report the lost item at a police box or police station. If the item is not retrieved within a certain time period, it is forwarded to the Metropolitan Police Department’s Lost and Found Center.


If your account passbook or cash card is stolen, immediately follow procedures with your bank to prevent unauthorized use of your account, such as cash withdrawals. Also file a theft report at a police box or police station.

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Fire and first-aid

Fire departments in Japan are on call 24 hours a day everywhere in Japan.
To call the fire department: Dial 119 (no area code) for fire, medical emergency or rescue

  • The fire department has both fire engines and ambulances, so first say either “fire” or “medical emergency”
  • Give the location and nearby landmarks, and give your name
  • Mention any locations or buildings that will serve as landmarks to help the police car or ambulance reach you quickly.

1. When using a payphone, pick up the phone and dial 110 or 119 without inserting any coins. If the payphone has an emergency report button, push that button first, and then make the call.
2. When calling 110 or 119 from a cell phone, don’t forget to give your cell phone number. Don’t turn off your phone after the call.

Initial firefighting efforts

Early stage firefighting efforts while waiting for the fire engines to arrive are crucial. If oil on the stove has caught fire, don’t douse it with water. Instead, spray it with a fire extinguisher or smother it with a wet blanket. If the flames reach the ceiling, however, the fire is beyond early-stage firefighting efforts. Evacuate the building, taking care not to let the fire block escape routes.
Because smoke contains many toxic gases, cover your mouth with a dampened towel when evacuating and stay as low to the floor as possible.

Fire prevention

Many houses in Japan are made of wood, so please pay close attention to fire prevention if you live in one. Before leaving your home or going to bed, please be careful how you handle heating appliances, cigarettes and gas. Be particularly careful in the winter, when the air is dry and heater use is common.

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How to call for an ambulance

In case of a sudden illness or major injury when no other effective means of help is available, immediately call 119 for an ambulance. Ambulances operate 24 hours a day. There is no fee for being transported in an ambulance, but you will be charged for any medical treatment received.
While waiting for the ambulance, gather your passport, resident card, health insurance card and cash. When you hear the siren, go out to the street and signal to it.
Ambulances are for emergency situations only. For minor injuries and ailments, go to a nearby hospital by car or taxi.

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Preparing for emergencies

Earthquakes are very common in Japan, and Tokyo is expected to experience a major one in the near future. Local governments are continuously strengthening their disaster preparedness measures, but local residents must also be prepared for disasters and continuously increasing their awareness regarding disaster preparedness.

Participate in disaster preparedness drills

Each local government body organizes regular disaster preparedness drills to ensure that in the event of an earthquake or other disaster everyone responds in a calm and rational manner. Take part in these drills to familiarize yourself with the correct procedures to take when a disaster occurs.

Heighten your disaster preparedness

Being constantly prepared for a disaster, both taking concrete measures and being psychologically prepared, is vital for keeping damage and injuries to the bare minimum. Figure out beforehand where local evacuation areas are located and how you will contact family members in the event of a disaster, and make sure everybody in the family has this necessary information.

Go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation “TSUNAGARI” website to view the“Assistance Manual for Foreigners in Times of Disaster”

Prepare a disaster emergency kit

Put together a kit containing vital items necessary for daily life, such as medical supplies, and have it on hand to quickly grab in case of a disaster.

Examples of what to have in your emergency kit:

  • Food (canned goods, can opener, ready-to-eat packaged food, snacks), drinking water
  • Matches, lighters
  • Medical supplies (standard medicine chest items)
  • Valuables (passbooks, personal seal, cash and copies of your health insurance card, passport and resident card)
  • Flashlight, portable radio, cell phone (spare batteries and chargers)
  • Clothing, towels, work gloves, helmets
  • Eyeglasses, toothbrushes, etc.

How to get accurate and reliable information

To prevent panic driven by rumors and false reports, be sure to obtain accurate and reliable information by radio or other means.

In Minato City
Minato City has Twitter and Facebook accounts for the transmission of information in the event of a disaster or emergency. There is also a downloadable Minato City Disaster Preparedness app, used to disseminate and increase disaster preparedness awareness, as well as a system for sending e-mails to your cell phone or PC regarding earthquake magnitudes, flood water levels and rainfall amounts as well as emergency information in the event of earthquake, heavy rainfall or flooding. It is a good idea to make use of these services.

Minato City-related links

In case of an earthquake

  • Stay safe: immediately take cover under a desk or table
  • Secure an exit route: Open windows or doors to secure an escape route
  • Check for fires and extinguish fires in their early stage: If you were using stoves or heaters, carefully extinguish them once the shaking has died down. If a fire has broken out, calmly take early stage fire extinguishing measures.
  • Act in a calm and composed manner: Be careful of broken glass and fallen furniture
  • Don’t dash outside without taking precautions: Watch out for falling roofing tiles, window glass and signs
  • Don’t go near gates or fences: If you feel the ground shaking outdoors, don’t go near block walls or other structures that could topple over
  • Take correct actions based on accurate information: Obtain accurate information from the radio, television, the fire department or the local government
  • Ensure the safety of gas and electricity lines: If you have to evacuate, switch the main electricity breaker and main gas valve off and lock the door

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Emergency Warning Broadcasts

NHK broadcasts a warning signal in advance of a large-scale earthquake or tsunami (the signal goes out from several seconds to tens of seconds prior to an earthquake). A broadcast of information regarding the occurrence and related information follow the warning signal. NHK Radio 2 rebroadcasts this information in English, Chinese, Korean and Portuguese, and is also announced on the auxiliary sound channel of NHK’s General Television channel 3, BS1 and BS Premium.

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