Health & Safety
Emergency contacts

All over Japan

Emergency services are available 24 hours a day throughout the year and can be accessed anywhere from within Japan. Below are the emergency contact numbers (also noted under the page ‘Crime Prevention’):

Police                                  110
Ambulance                          119

Fire department                   119

In Saitama

24-hour information services in Saitama are available as follows:

Saitama Emergency Medical Information Centre        #700 | 048-854-4199
Life in Saitama                                                             048-645-4343

At Saitama University
Weekdays -
University Health Centre                                    048-854-5356
Grad. School of Humanities & Social Sci.          048-858-3044 | 048-858-3286 
Faculty of Education                                           048-858-3144
Grad. School of Science & Eng.                         048-858-3429* | 048-858-3430 | 048-858-3345
                                                                           *Faculty of Engineering
Holidays / Weekends / Night Hours -
Guard at the University main gate                      048-858-3006

Natural disasters and emergency alerts

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoon, etc. frequently occur in Japan. It is important that everyone should know and follow the guidelines provided by the competent governing authorities on how to act in an event of natural disaster for saving lives. 

Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA - http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.html) issues alert levels (Advisory, Warning, Emergency Warning, etc.) when there is an anticipation of natural disaster to occur. JMA’s website, which can be accessed from the above link, provides a wealth of information on various types of disaster and advisories. In addition, it is important to find out public evacuation sites in the neighbourhood for taking refuse in case a disaster strikes.

For earthquake preparedness, a detailed information provided by the Institute of Scientific Approaches for Fire and Disaster (https://is.gd/22ur3I) and Saitama Prefectural Police (https://is.gd/oxd2Au) can be referred.

For alerts, various emergency alert systems are available. In an event that natural disaster is imminent, alerts will be transmitted through various means (cell phone, radio, television, smart phone applications, etc.). It is to be noted that not all the cell phone service provider support emergency alert system. If you are using cell phone service that does not support such, you can download disaster warning application. Additionally, to ensure the safety of each student in the aftermath of any big earthquake, Saitama University uses safety confirmation system (ANPIC) – https://is.gd/W38qFr (available only in Japanese!). In the event of a large earthquake, Saitama University will send an email to students at the email address they registered with the university. Students are asked to follow the instruction in the message and report their condition. Make sure that the email address that you register is the one you often check. 

Various other source of information on emergency warning:

In an event of earthquake, please remain calm and follow the instructions provided by the competent authorities. As telephone lines tend to be overloaded with calls in the aftermath of a disaster, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT)’s disaster message number can be used to ensure the safety of your family members and friends (https://is.gd/CgHnSJ).

On how to protect yourself against heavy rain and typhoon induced emergency, following the information provided by Saitama Prefecture at https://is.gd/i6XkXS.

Additional useful resources on natural disaster mitigation can be found here:

Insurance

All international students who reside in Japan for over three months are required to enrol to the National Health Insurance (NHI), known as “kokumin kenko hoken” in Japanese. NHI is a system under which the national government, the local government, and individuals share the medical expenses incurred in case of illness or injury. The insurance covers 70% of the medical expenses and the rest is to be covered by you. One can join the NHI Program at the NHI section of the Sakura ward office of Saitama city.

Personal accident insurance for students pursuing education and research

In addition to the mandatory national health insurance, all students are advised to join the following two types of insurance related to disaster and accidents. This is essential considering that these insurance cover not only the regular curricular activities within the university campus but also covers any extracurricular activities (e.g. university tours outside of the campus, etc.).

a) Disaster and Accident Insurance for Students (gakkensai)
Disaster and Accident Insurance for Students known as gakkensai (abbreviation for Gakusei Kyoiku Kenkyu Saigai Shougai Hoken) is administered by Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES) as a system for providing aid to students involved in accidents resulting from experiments, practical trainings, use of machinery etc. related to their academic work. Further information can be obtained from: https://is.gd/Hqcxfo (available only in Japanese!).

b) Personal Liability Insurance for Students (gakkenbai)
Personal Liability Insurance for Students known as gakkenbai (abbreviation for Gakkensai Futai Baisho Sekinin Hoken) is supplementary to the Disaster and Accident Insurance for students (gakkensai). This insurance protects student liability to third parties or for damaged property arising due to student’s academic activities. Further information can be obtained from: https://is.gd/0ot8Oq (available only in Japanese!). 

It is to be noted that gakkenbai cannot be bought independently of the above mentioned gakkensai insurance.

Bicycle insurance

Saitama prefecture requires each bicycle rider to purchase bicycle insurance for the safe use of bicycles in Saitama prefecture. The required insurance will compensate for the loss of property, physical injury, and/or loss of life due to bicycle accidents. Details on this mandatory requirement can be found here: https://is.gd/oGlctq (though the page is in Japanese only, an English translation option is available through the translation services provided by the Saitama prefecture’s website). The site also suggests insurance companies providing bicycle insurance. In addition, one can contact university co-op (https://is.gd/VjeHnx - available only in Japanese!) for the application of bicycle insurance.

Other types of insurances

Various other types of insurances are available to choose from, depending on individual’s requirement such as automobile insurance, tenant liability insurance, accidental damages, etc. Saitama university co-op handles a range of such insurance and the information can be found from here: https://hoken.univcoop.or.jp/student/ (available only in Japanese!).


Medical care

In case of emergency where you or someone around you have a life-threatening situation, call 119. 

University Health Service Centre

Saitama University has a dedicated Health Service Centre that offers health services to students, staffs, and faculty members of Saitama University. Details on the health service centre can be found here: https://is.gd/iaIUIh (available only in Japanese!). The location of university health service centre can be easily found on the university campus map: http://en.saitama-u.ac.jp/studentlife/campus/. The health service centre conducts yearly medical examination for students in the month of April. All students are required to take such medical examination

Clinics
For primary medical care, in Japan, the first step is to go to a clinic for an initial consultation and treatment. If the attending doctor at the clinic deems necessary that you need further treatment, s/he will refer you to a hospital with a referral letter. In most of the cases, an appointment at the clinic for initial consultation is not required. It may be useful to create a symptom card in advance as it might be difficult for you to explain your symptoms to the doctor in Japanese. Following website by Kanagawa International Foundation (http://www.kifjp.org/medical/), which is available in multiple languages, can be used to create a symptom chart.

Hospitals
In most of the cases, you need to have a referral letter from a clinic or other medical institute to visit a hospital. If you arrive at a big hospital without a referral letter, you might be charged with a special medical fee (the amount varies among hospitals). On the other hand, smaller hospitals may admit you without the need of referral letter and charging special medical fee.

If you are unsure what to do and where to go, it is best to contact university health services centre. Other source of information include AMDA International Medical Information Centre (https://is.gd/Qig8m7) that provides information on medical facilities where treatment in various language is possible. Additionally, website of Japan Travel Agency (https://is.gd/FhbteV) can also be used in finding medical facilities and centres in the vicinity.

Pregnancy and childbirth
Information on pregnancy and childbirth (including child care) are detailed on Saitama City’s website at: https://is.gd/qJu07B (though the page is in Japanese only, an English translation option is available at the top right of the webpage).