■Where to Apply: Registration at your local City/Ward Office
All those with “College Student” status of residence (more than 3 months) must enroll into the National Health Insurance system. Please make an application for the insurance system when you register yourself at your local City/Ward office within 14 days of moving in your new residence.
Premiums depend on the municipality that you are registered. International students who claim no income tax can receive reasonable rates for their insurance premiums.
■What are the benefits of this insurance?
70% of medical fees will be paid by the insurance. So, if you show your insurance card at the time of receiving medical treatment/prescription medicines, you will only need to pay 30% of the medical fees.
■High-Cost Medical Expense Benefit
Assistance will be provided for high-cost medical treatment. (However, some medical treatments that are not covered by the insurance system are not included.)
Childbirth Lump-sum is an allowance for childbirth and childcare. Depending on the area you live, you may be able to receive an additional support from your municipality. For details, please check here.
■Medical Expenses Incurred Abroad
The medical expenses you paid abroad while you are temporarily visiting your home country or staying overseas may be reimbursed upon completing the application procedure and satisfying the conditions. Only the medical treatments that are covered by the National Health Insurance in Japan are applicable. For further details, please check the website of National Health Insurance at your local ward office. There are documents to be submitted in Japan when applying that you need to have filled in at the medical institution abroad. You can download some forms from the website.
Bunkyo-ku 国保年金課国保給付係 (Kokuho Nenkin Ka Kokuho Kyufu Kakari)
Meguro-ku 国保年金給付係 (Kokuho Nenkin Kyufu Kakari)
※In case you go abroad to attend an international conference, etc., it is highly recommended to buy traveler’s insurance.
International students are able to use the University of Tokyo Health Service Center.
( https://www.hc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/ )
In addition, there are many health institutions ranging from large hospitals to small clinics which all have their own distinct characteristics.
Usually, to receive medical treatment at a large hospital, you need to have a letter of introduction. If you go to a large hospital without a letter of introduction, you will be asked to pay a special medical fee (This fee depends on the individual hospital.) For example, in the case of the University of Tokyo Hospital, without a referrel letter, you will have to pay an extra fee (Fee for Treatment of Patients’ Choice ) of 13,200 yen (as of Oct 2022) besides your fees for treatment.
Smaller hospitals usually have shorter wait times and if you are not having severe symptoms, it may be preferable to seek treatment at the University Health Service Center or at a smaller local hospital.
Check-ups at University
In Japan it is obligatory for students to have a medical check-up every year, and is stipulated by Japanese law. The medical check-up plays a major role in preserving everyone’s health. The purpose of these exams is to protect the health of individual students and the university community as whole. The University Health Service’s goal is to provide the support required by students to effectively continue their academic work, so please make sure to have check-up. The check-up for international students is divided into two types: new-student check-up and periodic check-up (for second years and higher), and are provided free of charge. New – student check-ups are held in spring (or autumn for students entering in autumn).
From their second year at the University, all students must take the periodic check-ups, which are normally held from April through June. The schedule for the check-ups is posted on the bulletin boards of faculties/graduate schools and on the website of each of the main campus’ Health Service Center.
Another reason to have the check-ups is that medical examination certificates, which are necessary for many application procedures (scholarships, entrance exams, and job hunting.) are issued only to students who have had the check-ups. Please note that the check-ups are not offered outside the designated periods.
How to Find a Hospital or Clinic
■IMAS: Inbound Medical Assistance Service for International Students at UTokyo
The University of Tokyo (UTokyo) provides the titled service: IMAS (Inbound Medical Assistance Service) through a specialist organization (EAJ – Emergency Assistance Japan) for international students. You need to register to use the service (Free of charge).
■Local Medical Association Websites
The following is a collection of local medical association websites which provide information on the days of service of the doctor who is responsible on certain days at various medical facilities located in that area.
・Tokyo Medical Association：https://www.tokyo.med.or.jp/ (Japanese)
・Kanagawa Medical Information System：https://www.pref.kanagawa.jp/cnt/f534442/ (Japanese)
・Saitama Medical Association：http://www.saitama.med.or.jp/shisetsu/gunshi/index.html (Japanese)
・Chiba Medical Association：http://www.chiba.med.or.jp/general/index.html (Japanese)
・Chiba QQ Medical Emergency Network：https://www.qq.pref.chiba.lg.jp/
■Telephone Service for Various Languages AMDA International Medical Information Center
Introduces medical facilities where treatment in various language is possible and introduces aspects of the Japanese medical system in various languages
■Tokyo Medical Information Service "Himawari"(Emergency Interpretation Service Available）
■Medical Informatioin Services for Foreigners
■Japan Travel Agency "Guide for when you are feeling ill" https://www.jnto.go.jp/emergency/eng/mi_guide.html
■Symptoms Chart in Various Languages
It can sometimes be difficult to explain how your feel or the amount or type of pain you are feeling to a doctor in Japanese. This is especially true in emergency situations or in the case of the injury/sickness of a family member.
You can download a symptoms chart online which will make it easier to explain your symptoms to a doctor. You can prepare the chart ahead of time and bring it with you to your appointment.
Kanagawa International Foundation https://kifjp.org/medical/
■Counseling by Phone
・Tokyo Inochi no Denwa：https://www.indt.jp/
・Tokyo English lifeline：https://www.telljp.com/
・Yokohama Inochi no Denwa: https://www.yind.jp/(Japanese) http://www.lal-yokohama.org/ (Spanish Portuguese)
■Test for STDs/AIDS
HIV Test and Sexually Transmitted Infections Foreign Language Consultation (AIDS Prevention)
Tokyo Fire Dept Phone
#7119（24 hours a day, every day）
Students who need to continue treatment or medication receiving in their home country should consult carefully with their doctor before coming to Japan. Please confirm that the necessary treatment can be continued in Japan, and make sure to bring a referral letter (written in either Japanese or English) from your doctor and to follow the necessary procedures to bring your medication when you come to Japan.
Each campus has a health service center, so it is recommended to visit the center if necessary and consult with a doctor as soon as possible about continuing treatment in Japan. Please check carefully the websites of the relevant authorities regarding bringing your medications upon entry into Japan.
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
Japan Customs https://www.customs.go.jp/mizugiwa/kinshi.htm