Bringing Medicine to Japan

Illegal Medicine

  • Tylenol Cold
  • Nyquil
  • Nyquil Liquicaps
  • Actifed
  • Sudafed
  • Advil Cold & Sinus
  • Dristan Cold (“No Drowsiness”)
  • Dristan Sinus
  • Drixoral Sinus
  • Vicks Inhaler
  • Lomotil
  • Anything containing Amphetamines, Methamphetamines, Morphine, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone etc

This list is by no means definitive, and you should contact the Japanese Embassy or Consulate nearest you to make sure any medication you plan on bringing to Japan is legal. Some associations such as the Epileptic Association of America have listings of comparable medications legal for import to Japan. Antipsychotics cannot be sent to Japan and you may be required to show a prescription from your physician even if the amount of antipsychotics you are bringing to Japan does not exceed the allowable limit.

Prescription Drugs

You are allowed to bring a one-month supply of prescription drugs (this includes birth control pills). If you want to bring more than the allowable amount, you have to obtain a Yakkan Shomei certificate from your nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate (See below). Your other options are to bring a presription from a doctor from back home and take it to a doctor in Japan, who may be able to provide you with a prescription for the Japanese equivalent, or you can have someone from back home ship you a one-month supply each month. These procedures apply to both newly arrived JETs and current JETs whose prescription has run out.

Bringing Quantities over the Allowable Limit

If you intend to bring more than the allowable amount of prescription medicine to Japan, you are required to obtain permission from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in the form of a Yakkan Shomei Certificate. To obtain the Yakkan Shomei Certificate, the following documents are required:

  1. Medication Import Report
  2. Customs Declaration Form
  3. Product Explanation Form
  4. Your Medical Prescription
  5. Arrival Date Documentation

Note 1: The Medication Import Report, Customs Declaration Form and Product Explanation Form are available from your local Japanese Embassy or Consulate General. You will need two copies of the Medication Import Report.

Note 2: The Product Explanation Form is required for each product and should give a detailed explanation of the exact contents.

Note 3: Your Medical Prescription must be submitted. Depending on the medication, there may be some items you can buy without a prescription in your country. However, please be sure to attach a doctor’s prescription.

Note 4: JET participants intending to bring medication to Japan will need a document indicating the date of arrival in Japan. This may be a copy of your plane ticket or a statement from your local Embassy or Consulate General of Japan regarding your participation on the JET Programme, which indicates the date of your arrival in Japan.

When you have prepared these documents, you need to forward them to CLAIR (see address below), who will submit your application to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. It’s a good idea to submit this well in advance of your departure to Japan. If approved, your Yakkan Shomei Certificate will be then sent to you via CLAIR and your local Japanese Embassy/Consulate.

Non-Prescription Drugs

You are allowed to bring a two-month supply of non-prescription medication, as long as it is legal in Japan (for example, paracetamol).

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