As we have seen in previous articles such as procedures to obtain a residence card in Japan or documentation to obtain a student visa, the Asian country is characterized by being rigorous with everything that enters its borders, whether they are people or products. Thus, all those who plan to take a trip and take medicine to Japan are not going to save themselves from protocol and bureaucracy.
From Go! Go! Nihon we tell you all the necessary information, as well as the rules and regulations that govern the entry of medicines into the country so that you do not get a surprise when landing. At the same time, if you are a Japanese student in the archipelago or intend to visit Japan shortly, we recommend reading the posts on how to obtain a student visa and the requirements to travel as a tourist.
Before taking medicine to Japan
Before packing your suitcase and putting in it the necessary medications for your stay in Japan, you should take the following into account:
Japan bans the mail-order of narcotics, stimulants, and hallucinogens. Don’t play it.
The Asian country is very strict in drug control. If not tell it to Paul McCartney who in 1980 was arrested in Tokyo for possession of marijuana while on tour with his group Wings.
Some legal drugs in other countries may not be legal in Japan.
Do not forget to carry all the medical prescriptions. Especially when going through customs and baggage control at the airport.
In the case of needing a large number of medicines, you must request the so-called Yunyu Kakuninsho or a medicine import certificate that we will talk about later in this article.
Strong pain relievers such as oxycodone can only be entered into Japan upon request for permission from a regional office of the Ministry of Health, regardless of the quantity.
There are some banned drugs in Japan. For example, Adderall, despite being approved in the US, is illegal in Japan.
Type and quantity of drugs to bring to Japan
Depending on the type and quantity of drugs that we bring to Japan, the regulations and protocols will vary. On the one hand, those who do not need a prescription such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. On the other hand, medicines that do need a prescription, such as contraceptive pills. Let’s see then some questions to take into account.
Bringing medicines to Japan without a prescription
When the dose of the drug does not exceed two months, it will not be necessary to issue the Yunyu Kakuninsho. Otherwise, we must have said document. Pay attention to those who wear contact lenses.
Bringing Prescription Medicine to Japan
When the dose of the drug does not exceed one month, it will not be necessary to issue the Yunyu Kakuninsho. If this period is exceeded, it will be essential to have the Yunyu Kakuninsho. Medications that must be applied with syringes or inhalers fall into this category.
There are some exceptions as in the case of insulin applicators. If it is only a dispenser, it will not be necessary to resort to Yunyu Kakuninsho. This does not happen in other cases such as artificial ventilation machinery that requires medical authorization and the corresponding Yunyu Kakuninsho certificate.
Obtaining the Yunyu Kakuninsho
As we have seen throughout the article, on many occasions taking medicines to Japan will require us to have the so-called Yunyu Kakuninsho certificate. Let’s see how to obtain it:
A document specifying the name and quantity of drugs to import. You can download the document in PDF.
The document called “Import Report of Medication” was printed and signed in two copies.
The document is called “Explanation of product” with as many prints as drugs to take to Japan.
You can attach a copy of the signed prescription if you want to carry a prescription. In the same way, we recommend incorporating the flight itinerary (plane tickets) into all documentation. Here you can find an example of how to fill in the documents.
Step 1 – Prepare the documentation
Documents that indicate the name and quantity of medicines that you are going to take to Japan (you can download the forms in Word / PDF )
Two copies of the “Import Confirmation Form”.
A “Product Explanation” for each product. Alternative documents, such as manufacturers’ brochures, can be accepted if they show the required descriptions in the “Product Explanation”.
In the case of prescription drugs, a copy of it with the doctor’s signature, so that the Pharmaceutical Inspector can confirm the names and quantities of each drug only for use.
Documents showing the date and place of arrival (for example, a copy of the airline ticket or flight itinerary).
Step 2 – Receive, print, and deliver the Yunyu Kakuninsho
After a week or so, when the Pharmaceutical Inspection approves all the documents, they will send you the Yunyu Kakuninsho by email. An official and nominal certificate with the applicant’s data. Make sure to print it and take it with you during the journey and at the customs inspection at the airport.
In addition to everything related to medicines, we advise you to find out about medical insurance in Japan for any type of complication during the trip.
Surely with this article, you have everything much clearer in terms of taking medicines to Japan, right? So, all that remains is to wish you a very good trip!