Saturday, July 23, 2016

Blood Donation in Japan

I recently read about the 52nd National Convention for the Promotion of Blood Donation, which took place in Tokyo.  HIH Crown Prince Naruhito and HIH Crown Princess Masako, who are the Vice Presidents of the Japan Red Cross Society attended the event. 

In the US, I often heard about blood drives, especially in the summer.  I've never heard of a blood drive here.  I didn't give blood regularly, but I did donate periodically.  The last time was when a friend was going to have surgery and I donated specifically for her. 

Reading about the convention made me think about blood donation here.  

This is what I found on the Japan Red Cross website:  

To those who are considering donating blood within Japan:
Thank you very much for your support and kind consideration.
Under the blood donation policy and for safety reasons regarding the person donating blood, we are required to ask you to fill out a mandatory pre-questionnaire in Japanese, and have a certified physician conduct a preliminary medical examination for blood donation in Japanese. Both of these steps will take place on site at any of our blood donation facilities. For this reason, we cannot accept donations from individuals who are unable to understand and respond in Japanese. Thank you very much for your understanding and cooperation.

Is this requirement (be able to understand Japanese) a way to keep non-Japanese from donating blood, or is this a legitimate policy?  What if the person brought a translator?  What do you think?


  1. I think you can have your examination and questioning with an interpreter, but you are likely to get rejected anyway.
    Years ago there was a problem with Mad Cow Disease. There was an outbreak in the UK and people who ate hamburgers made from tainted meat were taken ill. The problem spread to Japan whith people who had been travelling or living abroad returned. You can read this article about it.

  2. I just donated platelets this week so was very interested in your post. Hmmm. Makes you wonder.