Health and security risks in expat destinations: Japan

We cover research examining the security and medical facilities of popular expatriate destinations. In this article we highlight the risks associated with international assignment in Japan.

Japan volcano and blossoming trees
No organisation today can afford to neglect its duty of care. To reduce health risks to individuals, and business and reputational risks to their employers, planning, preparation and up-to-date information are vital. As part of their series on global risk in popular expatriate destinations, global medical assistance provider CEGA and security specialist Solace Global discuss the risk rating in Japan.
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Japan is among the world’s safest travel destinations. Although IS has identified it as part of the ‘Coalition of the Willing’, the likelihood of a terror attack by Islamic militants remains low. The government has also implemented heightened security measures since July 2005.Certain kinds of crime are common however, including overcharging, fraudulent credit card activity, drink spiking and assault. Inappropriate touching of women on public transport is also widely reported.

Natural hazards

Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions are also common occurrences countrywide. The most recent deadly earthquake was in April 2016, when a 7.0 magnitude quake (and a series of powerful aftershocks and foreshocks) struck Kumamoto, killing at least 50 and seriously damaging infrastructure.

Medical care

Hospitals and health centres in large urban areas offer sophisticated medical and diagnostic services. But provision in remote parts of the country is more limited, and many hospitals are not used to dealing with foreign insurance and assistance companies.Watch out for altitude sickness above 2,500 metres and remember that recommended vaccinations can include hepatitis; tetanus; tick-borne encephalitis; bat rabies and schistosomiasis. Precautions may also need to be taken against dengue fever. Expats should seek professional advice that is tailored to specific activities and destinations.Source: Global medical assistance providers CEGA and security specialists Solace Global.Information correct at time of going to press
For more information about business travel and international assignments in the Winter issue of our magazine.
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