Importing/Bringing Medication into Japan for Personal Use

1 April, 2004

Compliance and Narcotics Division,
Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau,
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

  • An importer of medication (drug, quasi-drug, cosmetic or medical device) for business purposes needs a License from the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law.
  • There is no need for a License for individual’s importing or bringing medication into Japan for personal use. An individual can import the following restricted quantities of medication without special procedures. Medication imported or brought into Japan for personal use must not be sold or given to others.

    1. Drug or Quasi-drug: Up to 2 months’ supply

    • Poisonous drug, Powerful drug or Prescription Drug : Up to 1 month’s supply
    • Drug or Quasi-drug for External Use (excluding Poisonous drug, Powerful drug or prescription
      drug) : Up to 24 pieces

      Note )
      Quasi-drug :

      Quasi-drug is a product that has restricted purpose of use,has a mild action on the human body, and is not categorized as a medical device.
      e.g.) hair tonics, bath preparations, etc.

      For external use :

      e.g.) ointments, eye drops etc.

    2. Cosmetic : Up to 24 pieces per item

    3. Medical Device (for home use only) : 1 set

    e.g.) Electric massager

Import Prohibited or RestrictedDrugs

  • Import of stimulants (Amphetamine, Metamphetamine, etc.) is prohibited by the Stimulants Control law.
  • An importer of Narcotics, Psychotropic drugs needs a license from the Director-General Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare under the Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Law.An contact point for the application of the Narcotics Control Department of the Bureau.
  • In accordance with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), import of drugs including the following substances is restricted.
    e.g.)
    1. Rhinoceros horn
    2. Musk
    3. Tiger bones
    4. Fel Ursi etc.

Further Reference

  • If you need to bring more than the restricted quantity of medication into Japan for personal use, and you plan to arrive at one of the following airports, please contact the following Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare during business hours

    ( Monday to Friday, 09 : 30 to 17: 45 ) :

    • Tokyo (Narita) International Airport (Kantou-Shinetsu office)
      Phone : +81-48-740-0800
      Fax : +81-48-601-1336
    • Kansai International Airport (Kinki office)
      Phone : +81-6-6942-4096
      Fax : +81-6-6942-2472
    • Naha International Airport (Okinawa branch office)
      Phone : +81-98-854-2584
      Fax : +81-98-834-8978
  • Regarding Narcotics, Psychotropic drugs, Stimulants etc., please contact the following office by Facsimile :
    • Charge of Opium of Compliance and Narcotics Division, Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
      Fax : +81-3-3501-0034
  • Regarding CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species)., please contact the following office :

    source : forwarded email through mailing list

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