Japan has a relatively low crime rate, but unfortunately there has been a rise in serious crimes in recent years. Students, especially women, are urged to refrain from walking alone at night whenever possible, whether on or off campus.
If you must go out at night, take whatever precautions you can to protect yourself, such as walking with friends and choosing only well-lit paths.
・If you feel your safety is being threatened, immediately call the police.
・If you become involved in a traffic accident or other accident, call the police and / or the fire department.
・If you see a fire, call the fire department.
If the emergency occurs on campus, call the relevant university emergency number below. Also, in any situation, contact the administrative office of your faculty / graduate school.
● Emergency Phone Numbers
・ Police: 110
・ Fire Department, and/or Ambulance: 119 （tell an operator "Fire" or "Ambulance" first.）
(Notes regarding making an emergency call)
In general, emergency calls (such as police 110 and fire/ambulance 119) cannot be made if you have a data SIM (internet communication function only/no phone function and cannot make a phone call) cell phone. Please confirm upon signing a contract.
● University Emergency Phone Numbers
・Hongo Campus Security Office (Yasuda Auditorium) 03-5841-4919
・Komaba I Campus Security Office 03-5454-6666
・Komaba II Campus Security Office 03-5452-6099
・Kashiwa Campus Security Office 04-7136-3010
・Shirokanedai Campus Security Office 03-5449-5231
There are some groups which appear to be social clubs or international exchange organizations looking to invite students for various other purposes. These groups may invite students to join under the pretense of being a study or self-improvement group, or a place to learn Japanese or English. The names of the group may refer to making friendships or cultural exchange. You may be invited by a Japanese member or a foreign member of the group.
After joining a few times you may have a feeling of uneasiness or suspicion, but since you have already developed a friendly relationship with some of the members it may be hard to refuse further invitations. If you are not interested in participating in the group, it is best to make a firm refusal. However, if you are finding it difficult or confused on how to stop participating, please consult with a Japanese student around you or someone from the university. It is important not to give personal information such as your name or contact information to someone that you do not know well. Also, if the person seems suspicious, it is important to ask to see their student ID or other personal identification. （There are times when you should not trust business cards.）
"Catch sales" are when you are solicited to buy high end items such as makeup or artwork by randomly being asked on the street. Many times these schemes involve a "free trial." Please be cautious if you are asked to participate in a free trial period, receive free trial items, or register for such items on the internet. If you enter into a contract against your will and wish to break the contract, there is a cooling-off system that can help you to break some contracts within a certain period of time.
Students sometimes pay "false invoices" where they receive bills or payment slips either online or by postal mail for services or items they have not purchased. In many cases these invoices include threatening statements that payment is overdue or that there will be legal action taken against the student if they do not pay. If you receive such a bill, do not contact the sending organization and consult someone from the university. The number of the incidences where information of credit cards, passwords and IDs obtained fraudulently are used to purchase goods, such as electronic devices, online and have them delivered to international students living in Japan, or withdrawing money through transfers from internet banking accounts accessed using stolen identification has been taking place increasingly all over Japan.
International students are drawn into these crimes through information on the internet, leaflets, or through word-of-mouth of acquaintances. In these cases, the international students are offered large compensation for simply receiving and delivering goods or withdrawing money using stolen cards pretending to be a Japanese. The international students involved are simply unaware that what they are doing is a crime, or once they realize they cannot stop because of the money. In any event, these cases are the crimes and some international students have already been arrested in fact. Please do not accept these offers and avoid end up being accomplices in these criminal acts.
There are some cases where international students may find themselves in trouble due to not knowing the social rules or society of Japan. It is best to learn the rules and to protect yourself from getting into situations where you may be in trouble.
1) Receiving/riding a Bicycle
When you buy a bike from a shop, you should always apply for the anti-theft registration (500 yen.) If you receive a bicycle from a friend, you should make sure to receive paperwork (Deed of Transfer) showing that you legally received the bicycle and apply for the anti-theft registration under your own name at a bicycle dealership. You should never ride a bike you find left alone near the station or other open area. If you ride another person’s bicycle without permission it is considered an act of theft.
Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
(Reference) Trafic Safety https://www.tomin-anzen.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/english/traffic-safety/
2) Driving a Car or Motorbike
An international driver's license is only for short-term visitors, not for mid-long term residents who have the residence registry in Japan. If you want to drive a car or motorcycle in Japan, you must have a Japanese driver's license. Also, make sure you have insurance if you drive. There are 2 types of insurances: mandatory insurance required by law and the optional insurances. If you have had an accident, the amount of compensation to the victim can be very expensive.
【Reference】Driver’s license, International driver’s license, List of the contracting states of the “Convention at Geneva 1949” (International driver’s license is stipulated by the law.), how to convert of Foreign Driver’s License to a valid Japanese driver’s license.
・English (Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, 警視庁)
・Japanese (National Police Agency, 警察庁)
【Reference】If you attend a driving school in Japan, please refer to the websites below.
・Tokyo Authorized Driving School Association https://www.tadsa.or.jp/ (in Japanese)
・Kanagawa Authorized Driving School Association (Kanagawa Shitei Jidosha Kyosyujo Kyokai) https://www.kanagawa-dsa.org/ (in Japanese)
・University Co-op：https://www.utcoop.or.jp/ 03-3814-1541
3) Apartment/Housing Rules
Please find Chapter 4 ”Rules and precautions” in Guidebook "Basic Knowledge of House Hunting”
4) Part-time Job
The point that differentiates the part-time job system between Japanese students and international students is the number of hours and types of jobs that international students can work/have. Your employer may not know, or may not realize the severity of breaking these rules, so it is up to the international student to understand the rules themselves and if necessary be able to explain the importance of following these rules to their employer. In order to avoid trouble, it is best to have your prospective employer tell you the hours, payment, day of payment for the job. Also, make sure to save your paystubs and do not throw them away as you may need them in certain cases. For details, please see
5) Prevention of alcohol related accidents
In Japan, drinking while under the age of 20 and encouraging those under 20 to drink is strictly prohibited by law. Before drinking, please pay attention to your health as well as the physical conditions of the others. If you find someone losing consciousness due to intoxication, be sure not to leave them alone. In that case, necessary care must be taken, including calling for an ambulance.
6) Drug Abuse Prevention
Use or possession of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited by law. Some medicines（pain reliever, etc.） authorized in your country contain a chemical that is illegal to possess/use in Japan. Please carefully check if you are allowed to bring your medicine from your country with you.
7) Ethics for dealings of information and Social Network Services (SNS)
You must comply with information ethics stipulated by UTokyo not only on campus, but in your daily life as well.
・UTokyo Information Ethics Guideline, "Guidelines for Information Ethics and Computer Use" (Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean)
8) Crisis intervention support for sexual assault and STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
Please do not hesitate to contact on-campus student support services. You can also utilize off-campus support resources.
-Counseling/Advising services for international students on each campus
-On-campus counseling sections
-Sexual Assault Relief Center (SARC Tokyo)
-HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection Countermeasures (Shinjuku)
-HIV Testing and HIV/AIDS Counseling Map in Japan
9) Flight of unmanned aircrafts (drones)
In most areas of Japan, flight of unmanned aircrafts (drones) is prohibited. For details, please check the following links.
References: Act on Prohibition of Flight of UASs around and over Key Facilities (National Police Agency)
Japan’s safety rules on Unmanned Aircraft (UA)/Drones (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism)
Japan’s safety rules on Unmanned Aircraft (UA)/Drones (国土交通省/多言語版）
【Reference】 “Caution to Students” (Japanese)