Donating Blood in Japan

First off, thank you for your interest in blood donation (献血 ‘kenketsu’ in Japanese)! It’s a simple thing that can make a huge difference to the lives of others. Whether you’ve donated in your home country, or are looking to donate for the first time, we hope the information here will help you out.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible for non-Japanese residents currently living in Japan to donate blood. There are some strict requirements that may not apply in your home country due to (somewhat outdated) safety concerns, but as long as you don’t match up with anything under the Restricted and prohibited donors section (and you’re not from the UK…see below), you should be good to go!

Blood Donation FAQ

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Translated Documents

The following documents have been translated from the materials provided by the Japan Red Cross Blood Donation Centers. We have done our best to match their layout to their Japanese counterparts. Print them out and bring them with you, so you can refer to them throughout the process!

Donation Questionnaire
This questionnaire is presented to all donors who walk in. It is done on a touch screen. This document matches the order of the questions and responses, so you can refer to this while answering. Double-check with the staff if something seems out of place!

Contact information and medical release form
This is filled out the first time you donate, after which you can make a card that will store all this information. It contains your name and address, plus some consent about screening tests.

“Onegai!” pamphlet
The “おねがい!” pamphlet has a general overview of the blood donation process, including information on what to do before, during, and after.

Transcription of the first-timers video
If it’s your first time donating, you may be asked to watch a short video about donating blood. This document contains a translation of the text.

Criteria for donors
This has the basic physical requirements of height, weight, age, and others for donors of various types and amounts of blood.

Information about consenting to blood donation
Legal information and disclosures about the usage of donated blood and privacy of personal information.

Information about Latin America
The Japan Red Cross has some specific regulations regarding those who were born in Latin America, whose parents were born in Latin America, or who have spent more than 4 weeks in Latin American countries. You are not excluded from donating, but donated blood may be used for research purposes instead.

The Japan Red Cross’s official handbook regarding blood donation
This 70-page PDF has all the information you could ever need to know about the history of blood

Questions not answered here?

Contact Steven Thompson, who translated and assembled these materials and promotes blood donation in Japan, at .