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Yakkan Shoumei 約款証明

In preparing to travel to Japan, I’ve had many tasks necessary to enter the country. However, as a hemophiliac, one of the most important things for me to do was apply for the Yakkan Shoumei (約款証明).

As anyone who has studied Japan knows, the Japanese are very finicky about their drugs, especially in regards to medication, and even moreso to drugs that are imported. According to the guidelines set up by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, all persons traveling to Japan may take a month’s worth of any medication without need of customs clearance. This applies to most medicines, such as ibuprofen and the like.  However, beyond this there are restictions on medications, and in order to bring them one  must fill out a Yakkan Shoumei. A Yakkan Shoumei is like an application to bring in otherwise contraband medication and drugs into the country.

In my case, as a hemophiliac, I receive my medication intravenously. According the Ministry of HLW, all medications administered via needle, no matter what amount, must be cleared with the Ministry and have a Yakkan Shoumei. It was an interesting process filling out the necessary forms, and I spent the last month or so making sure I had gotten everything down to the smallest detail (I am a major perfectionist when I need to be!). So on Tuesday I sent out the application via International Express (should be there on the 15th). One of the sucky things about the application is they ask that you also include a self-addressed return envelope and an adequate amount of International Response Coupons (IRCs).

IRCs are basically pieces of paper which can be redeemed at any post office in the world for postage. Since it takes Japanese postage to mail from Japan, they need non-American stamps. Unfortunately, they never specify an approximation of how much they want, so I gave them $6.30 worth of it. Hopefully it’s enough.

Seeing how this whole process works, I will give some info on the Yakkan Shoumei for any future travelers to Japan who might need a Yakkan Shoumei.

Hopefully there will be people who find this helpful!!

I’ll update more soon, and I will most definitely let you know how the application went.

Till then, じゃね!

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  1. theBESTsithlord
    February 12, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    That sounds incredibly annoying, frustration, and aggravating! I’m glad you were able to get it done, though!

  2. July 19, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Hello John,

    Great blog post, and thanks for linking to our website. We’re glad to provide all of the hints and tips for a successful journey to Japan.

    However, your link needs to be updated to this: http://jcmu.isp.msu.edu/students/predeparture/medication.htm

    And for future reference, we are part of Michigan State University — not the University of Michigan (they’re our rivals.)

    Thank you,

    ISP Web Development Team

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