There are strict regulations around bringing medications into Japan and brining them back home, as many common medications are illegal in Japan. If you are taking any medications, please read through the following carefully and meet with your physician if any adjustments to medications need to be addressed.
- Please refer here for a list of all banned and restricted medications for the country of Japan. Note this does not include brand names so make sure to check active ingredients. If the medication is listed as banned, you will not be permitted to bring even a single pill into the country.
- Medications that are not banned, but contain narcotics or stimulants’ raw material, will require submission of a specific application found here. Please read the instructions in that link very closely to ensure all required information is submitted.
- It is possible to bring certain psychotropic medications into Japan for personal use, but the quantities for some psychotropic medications are restricted by total weight of the active drug, and in order to bring the medication into and out of Japan, the individual will need to bring a written certificate from a doctor indicating the name and home address of the patient, and name and quantity of the medication. If the quantity of the psychotropic medication exceeds a one-month supply or any injectable psychotropic medications, you will need to apply for and receive an import certificate called a Yakkan-Shoumei prior to leaving for Japan. This certificate must be declared to the officer at customs upon arrival.
30-day Supply & Non-banned Medications
- For medications that are not listed on the banned or regulated list, you may bring up to a 30-day supply of that medication without applying for a Yakkan-Shoumei. See further explanation here.
- For those who will be in Japan over 30 days and are taking an accepted medication, you must apply for, and be approved be approved for, a Yakkan-Shoumei, in advance to bring in more than a 30-day supply of your medication. You should complete this as soon as possible, as you will be required to bring a hard copy of the certificate when entering customs in Japan. Many of these medications also require an export certificate or a doctor’s note with specific information to bring any remaining medications home. Be sure to apply for and bring the necessary certificates and/or documentation for import and export of your medications. After applying for the certificates, please make sure to check your email and re-send if you have not heard within five business days. Review the Q&A document for additional information and clarification.
- Find the application and process here, which will require the prescription or medicine directions as well as a copy of your flight itinerary or ticket in a pdf version. Please make sure to use the appropriate application for the medication you are requesting (narcotic vs. stimulant application) and complete all necessary information and send to the correct email address based on the airport you will be traveling to.
- You must bring a hard copy of this certificate with you when entering customs in Japan.
- Strict restrictions exist around stimulants in Japan with some being banned and some requiring a TUE and additional documentation submitted to the Japanese government by the athlete’s team physician. Recently, the Japanese government amended their laws such that athletes with a TUE for certain medications defined as stimulants under Japanese law (e.g., Adderall) are now able to apply to bring their medications with them to Japan. However, given the circumstances around this process, including requirements from the Organizing Committee and the resources available to support Team USA in Tokyo, the USOPC is recommending Team USA delegates adhere to their previous plans and not apply for this exception. Furthermore, USOPC physicians will not be able to complete the paperwork or provide the additional support required for athletes to be able to import these stimulants while in Japan. If an athlete chooses to pursue approval from the Japanese government, they may be able to seek support from their NGB’s team physician who will accompany them to Japan and have the physician submit the required documents to the Japanese government, including a written pledge. If you have questions regarding the application and approval process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- There are two potential alternatives to stimulants for the treatment of ADHD that can be brought to Japan:
- Lisdexamphetamine (Vyvanse) is a stimulants’ raw material and requires a Yakkan-Shoumei for import of any amount into Japan.
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin) is a psychotropic medication. If you bring less than a 30-day supply or 2.16 gm, you do not need anything to import this medication. If you bring more than 2.16 gm, you will need to bring an import and export certificate. If you bring more than 30-day supply, you will need a Yakkan-Shoumei.
- Selegiline and pseudoephedrine are stimulants’ raw material, which require a Yakkan Shoumei to bring into Japan. Medications containing more than 10% pseudoephedrine cannot be brought into Japan.
- Please make sure all medications are in the original bottle.
- Bring a copy of the physician’s prescription.
- For supplements/quasi drugs, you may have a two-month supply with you without a Yakkan Shoumei certificate. Again, make sure to have them in the original bottle.