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Japan is generally a safe country to visit, with low crime and violence. However, Singaporeans are still advised to take the necessary precautions and exercise personal responsibility at all times. Notably, Japan is prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, snowstorms, flooding and landslides. Disruptions to local utilities and transport services can be expected following the aftermath of such disasters.
Most recently, Fukuoka, Saga and Nagasaki Prefectures in Japan have been hit by floods and landslides on 28 August 2019. The Japan Meteorological Agency has since issued heavy rain warnings for the Kyushu region and evacuation orders for Fukuoka, Saga and Nagasaki Prefectures. Media reports indicate that the floods and landslides have caused damage to roads, loss of lives and the suspension of local train services.
Singaporeans travelling to affected areas are advised to monitor the local situation at the following websites:
Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) for information on weather, earthquake, typhoon and volcano: www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.html
Local news in English: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/tv/
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) for travel notice: https://www.japan.travel/en/travel-directory/latest-news/travel-advisories-news/
In the event of an emergency, please follow the advice and instructions of the local authorities. As transport services may be affected, Singaporeans should check with the respective airlines or tour operators for up-to-date flight schedules, and consider alternative transport arrangements if necessary.
Please stay up to date on the latest weather conditions by checking the JMA’s website. For instance, winter in Japan is known for heavy snowfalls and avalanches, especially in northern parts like Hokkaido. Travellers are advised to make appropriate preparations for driving in winter and possible flight/train delays or cancellations due to adverse weather conditions. These include having adequate medication, food and other necessities, etc.
There has been a series of nuclear and missile tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Some of the missiles had entered Japanese airspace. Singaporeans travelling to Japan should remain vigilant and monitor the news to stay updated on the latest developments. In addition to announcements made via public sirens, Japan has introduced a J-Alert system which provides emergency information through local telco. However, please note that J-Alert messages are currently only in Japanese language. For more details on emergency protection measures in the event of a missile attack, please refer to the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat’s Civil Protection Portal (http://www.kokuminhogo.go.jp/en/pc-index_e.html).