Top 20 Useful Phrases for an Emergency in Japanese :When traveling anywhere in the world, there is always the possibility of winding up in an emergency situation. This can range from accidents, natural disasters, and health-related problems to crimes and losing important belongings. Here are the top 20 Japanese phrases to use during an emergency situation.     

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Health Emergencies, Accidents, and Natural Disasters

If you have a chronic illness or health condition, the very first step before getting on the plane is researching key Japanese words related to your condition. Just type “[My condition] in Japanese” into your preferred search engine, and you will get several results. Should you have health problems while in Japan, it’s important to communicate to a doctor what your condition is so that they can better treat you.

If you are prone to sickness or injury, it’s also advisable to purchase Voyage health insurance before embarking on your journey. You’ll be glad you did in the event of a real emergency!

1. Tasukete! 助けて!

English: “Help me!” 

This is your go-to word for any dangerous situation. Whether you’re in a car crash, having a heart attack, or your room catches on fire, you’re going to need to call for help. 

2. Kinkyū jitai desu! 緊急事態です!

English: “This is an emergency!” 

Sometimes a situation is so dire that you need to get yourself or someone else in safe care immediately. “Kinkyū” is the Japanese word for “emergency,” so shouting this is the best way to clear a path in a crowded area. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find someone in the vicinity who can help as well.

3. Kaji! 火事!

English: “Fire!”

4. (Kare) wa obore sō! (彼) は溺れそう!

English: “(He’s) drowning!” 

You may be at the beach or swimming pool and find someone splashing and flailing about. Perhaps, you’re wading in a river, and you know that there is a strong undercurrent. “Kare” is the word for “he,” so if it’s a woman drowning, you can say “kanojo,” which means “she.” 

5. Kore ni tsukamare! これにつかまれ!

English: “Grab ahold of this!” 

If someone is drowning and you have a stick or a lifebuoy, yell this to let them know that you have something they can grab ahold of.  

6. Kega o shita!  けがをした!

English: “I’m hurt!” 

Kega is the word for “injury.”

7. Itai! 痛い!

English: “Ouch! It hurts!” 

If you do get injured, itai is a helpful word to know so that you can communicate to a doctor/nurse or those around you that something hurts.

8. (Kyūkyūsha) o yonde kudasai! (救急車)を呼んでください!  

English: “Call (an ambulance)!” 

You can also substitute “kyūkyūsha” with “shōbōsha” (消防車) if you want to call the fire department.

9. (Watashi) wa byōin ni ikanakereba narimasen! (私)は病院に行きたいです!

English: “(I) need to go to the hospital!”

If you want to say, “S/He needs to go to the hospital,” substitute “watashi” (“I”) for “kare” if it’s a man, or ”kanojo” if it’s a woman. If the phrase above is too long for you to memorize, then you can say, “Byōin ni ikitai!” (I want to go to the hospital), which will get your point across.

10. (Watashi) wa isha ni mite moraraitaidesu  (私)は医者にみてもらいたいです!

English: “(I) need to see a doctor!” 

Isha” means “doctor.” As with the hospital example above, if this is too long, you can say, “Isha ni ikitai”.

11. Jiko ga arimashita! 事故がありました!

English: “There has been an accident!” 

The word “jiko” is just a general word for “accident,” so you can use it for any kind of accident you witness, such as a traffic or train accident.

12. Kore wa watashi no hoken ni haitte imasu ka? これは私の保険に入っていますか?

English: “Is this covered under my insurance?” 

When it comes to emergencies, it’s also important to figure out how you’re going to pay for bills associated with hospitals and ER visits. That’s why we recommend getting traveler’s insurance before embarking on an overseas voyage.

13. Hinanbasho wa doko desu ka? 避難場所はどこですか?

English: “Where is the evacuation site?” 

In the case of a severe natural disaster, you may need to seek refuge in a nearby evacuation center. The phrase “…wa doko desu ka?” is useful any time you want to ask where something is. You simply say the place you want to go and add “…wa doko desu ka?”

Crimes and Losing Documents

If you find yourself the victim of a crime or if you misplace something important such as your passport, here are a few phrases to help you out.

14. Keisatsu o yonde kudasai! 警察を呼んでください!

English: “Call the police!” 

As with the above “Call an ambulance,” “… yonde kudasai” means, “Please call…”

15. Chikai (kōban) wa arimasu ka? 近い(交番)はありますか?

English: “Is there a (police station) near here?” 

Use the sentence pattern “chikaiwa arimasu ka?” when you want to know where the nearest [insert place] is. Just substitute the ellipsis for the place you want to go.   

16. (Amerika no taishikan) wa doko desu ka? (アメリカの大使館)はどこですか?

English: “Where is the (American embassy)?” 

17. (Pasupōto) wa naku shimashita. (パスポート)は無くしました。

English: “I lost my (passport).” 

If you lose something, you just say what item you lost and follow it with “…wa naku shimashita.” A few commonly misplaced items are your wallet (財布 saifu) and purse (バッグ baggu).

18. (Burīfu kēsu) o nusumaremashita. (ブリーフケース)を盗まれました。

English: “My (briefcase) was stolen.” 

Substitute “briefcase” with whatever has been stolen. 

19. Oi, tomare! おい、止まれ!

English: “Hey, stop!” 

If someone grabs your bag and runs off with it, you may be tempted to say, “Hey, stop!” “Tomare” is a forceful way of telling a person to stop right now. 

20. Aitsu o tsukamaete! あいつをつかまえて!

English: “Stop him/her!” 

Above, we learned that “tomare” means “Stop!” but when you want other people to help you catch a thief, you have to yell “tsukamaete!” which is the word for “catch.” Aitsu est un grossier way of referring to a person, but it’s appropriate in this situation because it alerts other people around you that a crime is in progress.

Of course, we hope that you have a safe and enjoyable voyage to Japan, but the above phrases are very helpful should you need them. 

Emergency Contact information       

110 – Emergency call to the police (report accidents and crimes to the police call center) 

118 – Emergency call to the coast guard (report accidents and crimes to the Japan Coast Guard)

119 – Fire, ambulance, emergency rescue (report a fire or call an ambulance or emergency rescue)

You can call all of these numbers free of charge from any public phone.  

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