In the case of a cardiac arrest, every second counts, which is why over the past decade Japanese health organizations have deployed a large number of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public areas, with the current count somewhere over 300,000 units.

Eventually the country would like to see that number expand to one in every building, but for the time being the first priority is AED accessibility, leaving some foreign tourists surprised to find that AEDs in places that might seem a little odd at first: like vending machines.

Following the 2004 revision of a law that only allowed not only medical service workers but ordinary citizens to operate AEDs, units started popping up all over the country.

Especially in areas such as large parks and stations, which can be difficult for emergency vehicles to access, having an AED nearby can be the difference between life and death.

The only problem is visibility and space, which is why since 2006 the number of AED-equipped vending machines has steadily grown, catching some foreign visitors that spot them a little off-guard.

Commenters were not only shocked to see the vending machine itself, but at the fact that cases of machine vandalism are very few and far between. Though this type of crime is less common compared to other countries, most machines are still equipped with a safety alarm to deter those with bad intentions from tampering with the AED.

Legally, AEDs can now be operated by anybody, but for any Japanese residents curious about learning how to properly use one in case of an emergency, most local fire stations instruction on AED use. Additionally, for those living in or visiting the greater Tokyo area, the Tokyo Fire Department Ikebukuro Life Safety Learning Centers even offers visitors the chance to experience using a fire extinguisher or participate in a large magnitude earthquake simulation. That may sound like something you’d do on a school trip, but having tried it ourselves we can confirm that it’s well worth a visit.

Source: YouTube/TheJapanChannelDcom via Lakatan
Feature/top image: YouTube/TheJapanChannelDcom