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Measures against Plagues and Infectious Diseases

Essential Info

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Plagues and infectious diseases are spreading throughout the world, but in Japan, it is said that general tourists do not need to worry about plagues and infectious diseases that cause severe symptoms. However, this does not mean that caution is not needed. Visitors in the winter must beware of diseases such as the flu and norovirus infection.

The Norovirus

Over the recent years, many people have been infected with the norovirus, which runs rampant especially during the winter season from November to January. Victims are infected with the norovirus when eating bivalves such as oysters raw or not cooked thoroughly enough. People can also be infected by coming into contact with infected people or objects such as handrails that infected people have touched. The symptoms vary from person to person, but severe symptoms include acute nausea and diarrhea. In addition to being careful not to eat undercooked oysters, please be sure to wash your hands thoroughly.


Influenza infection can also be acquired from the sneezes of infected people. It often spreads in the winter and people in Japan wear high-function face masks with high filtration capacities to prevent from being infected. When there is an outbreak, it is important to avoid crowded places and to thoroughly gargle and wash your hands when you return to your hotel. Some facilities such as shopping centers and hotels also have rubbing alcohol at the entrances during influenza seasons.

There are not many cases of infection in Japan, but it is possible to get infected at the country you visited just before your arrival in Japan and start seeing symptoms in Japan as many plagues and infectious diseases have incubation periods. If you feel even a little unwell, please consult with staff at the quarantine counter when entering Japan.

Narita Airport Quarantine

Haneda Airport Quarantine

Kansai International Airport Quarantine

Serious infectious diseases and measures against them are stipulated under the "Act Concerning Prevention of Infection of Infectious Diseases and Patients with Infectious Diseases". Those diagnosed with an epidemic or infectious disease stipulated by law are basically required to be admitted to a hospital to prevent the spreading of the disease. The cost of treatment in such cases is publicly funded and not paid for by the individual. You may not leave the hospital until the treatment is over so it is necessary for you to change your itinerary or scheduled date of your return home if you are sick.


Please get a sufficient amount of sleep and nutrients. Your risk of getting infected increases as your immune system weakens. Vaccines are the most effective way to improve immunity against specific pathogens. Please get vaccinated at your own country before coming to Japan.
The most effective way to prevent infectious diseases is cutting off the route of infection. Early detection and treatment is the best way to prevent a serious situation so please go to the hospital for treatment if you feel you may be infected.

Face Masks

You often see people wearing face masks in Japan, but this does not mean that everyone with a mask is sick. They are worn for various reasons such as protection from infectious diseases, pollen, and dryness of the throat. Please go to a drug store and find the one that suits your needs as there are plenty of high-function masks available for various purposes.

National Institute of Infectious Diseases

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare: Health


If You Become Ill