Dubai: UAE residents who wish to visit Japan have been advised to secure a travel insurance before their visit, an official said.

The recommendation to have travel insurance is for their own protection, enabling them to feel secure even during emergencies.

“Dear travellers to Japan: It is recommended to take out an overseas travel insurance. Medical expenses can be very high in Japan in some cases. If the travel insurance you purchased offers sufficient coverage of treatment of costs, you can receive treatment without concern,” the advisory read.

Koji Adachi, Deputy Consul-General at the Consulate of Japan, clarified that the insurance is not a prerequisite to visa application.

Emiratis enjoy a visa-free entry to Japan for a maximum of 90 days. Citizens with diplomatic and special passports on official mission in Japan may stay for an unlimited period.

In 2017, some 10,000 residents from Dubai and the northern emirates applied for visas to Japan. “Getting travel insurance is not mandatory; it’s just a recommendation. The Japanese government encourages travellers from Dubai and around the world to obtain a travel insurance to enjoy a hassle-free stay in Japan.” Adachi told Gulf News.

“It’s up to the visitor to choose the company where they will get their insurance from. In general, we recommend the visitors to Japan to have travel insurance for any eventuality.”

The travel insurance should have travel support for hospital referrals, medical interpretation, and cashless medical service, the advisory read.

Adachi said the recommendation may have been given due to some instances in the past where foreign visitors had difficulty paying for some medical fees in Japan.

Travel insurance protects travellers abroad against any unforeseen circumstances such as medical-related illnesses, injuries, personal accidents, repatriation and flight-related problems such as delayed departure, flight cancellations, lost baggage. It also offers coverage for crimes such as theft and hazardous weather.

Japan remains one of the world’s safest countries with its low crime rate. So this is not a major concern for tourists. However, a medical emergency may happen any time and a tourist may require emergency evacuation.

Natural calamities may also strike anytime, just as in any country, and having protection specified in one’s travel insurance will help a lot.

The cost of travel insurance depends on the coverage and length of stay abroad. In Dubai, the cost could range between Dh55 to Dh2,000, depending on the traveller’s needs. Individuals, groups, families, frequent flyers can get policies accordingly.