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General Safety Advice

General Safety Advice

While Japan sits at the top of many general safety rankings, travelers to the country still need to be aware of potential dangers and how best to react to them. Japan is prone to natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. While most are small in scale, it's important to be prepared. In short, Japan is very safe and the crime rate is quite low. Like any other destination, though, travelers should be aware of their surroundings and know what to do in case something does happen.

There is always a possibility, however unlikely, that you might fall victim to a form of petty crime during your stay in Japan. If you need help, head to a local koban—the small police boxes dotted throughout Japanese neighborhoods. If you don't know where one is, just ask.

Although they should not deter you from visiting Japan, natural disasters such as earthquakes do occur. Compared to other countries, earthquakes are common in Japan, so it's best to be prepared. Earthquakes can occur at any time and strike with little or no warning. Japan's location on shifting tectonic plates means that the country is almost always shaking—it's just that many of the quakes go unnoticed. If you are inside during a larger earthquake, remember to stay calm and follow any instructions staff might give. When you check into the hotel, double-check where the evacuation routes are so you know where to go in an emergency. Fire is the most dangerous secondary disaster, so extinguish any naked flames as quickly as possible during an earthquake. Make sure to keep your phone and devices fully charged. These can be indispensable in the event of any emergency. If you are by the coast when a large earthquake strikes, head for higher ground in case of a tsunami.

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