For regulations, visit the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. For more information and application forms, visit the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's official Q&A for bringing medicines into Japan (procedures of bringing medicines into Japan).
An importer of medication (drug, quasi-drug, cosmetic or medical device) for business purposes needs a License from the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law.
Import of stimulants (Amphetamine, Metamphetamine, etc.) is prohibited by the Stimulants Control Law. An importer of Narcotics, Psychotropic drugs needs a license from the Director-General Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare under the Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Law, a contact point for the application of the Narcotics Control Department of the Bureau.
In accordance with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), import of drugs including the following substances is restricted.
1. Rhinoceros horn
3. Tiger bones
4. Fel Ursi etc.
It is illegal to bring into Japan some over-the-counter medicines commonly used in the United States, including inhalers and some allergy and sinus medications. Specifically, products that contain stimulants (medicines that contain Pseudoephedrine, such as Actifed, Sudafed, and Vicks inhalers), or Codeine are prohibited. Up to a two-months' supply of allowable over-the-counter medication and up to a four-months' supply of allowable vitamins can be brought into Japan duty-free.
Some popular medications legal in the U.S., such as Prozac and Viagra, are sold illegally in Japan on the black market. You are subject to arrest and imprisonment if you purchase such drugs illegally while in Japan.
Japanese physicians can often prescribe similar, but not identical, substitutes to medicines available in the U.S. A list of English-speaking medical facilities throughout Japan is available here. A Japanese doctor, consulted by phone in advance, is also a good source of information on medications available and/or permitted in Japan.
If you need to bring more than the restricted quantity of medication into Japan for personal use, and you plan to arrive at one of the following airports, please contact the following Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare during business hours (Monday to Friday, 9:30 AM to 5:45 PM)
Tokyo (Narita) International Airport (Kantou-Shinetsu office)
Phone : +81-48-740-0800
Fax : +81-48-601-1336
Kansai International Airport (Kinki office)
Phone : +81-6-6942-4096
Fax : +81-6-6942-2472
Naha International Airport (Okinawa branch office)
Phone : +81-98-854-2584
Fax : +81-98-834-8978
Regarding Narcotics, Psychotropic drugs, Stimulants etc., please contact the following office by Facsimile :
Charge of Opium of Compliance and Narcotics Division, Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
Fax : +81-3-3501-0034
Regarding CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species)., please contact the following office :
Trade Licencing Division, Trade Control department, Trade and economic cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry
Phone : +81-3-3501-1659