Psychiatric services in Japan and England are compared using government statistics. In Japan, the number of in-patients per 100,000 population has increased from the 1950s, while that of England has decreased since 1954. Since 1972 the prevalence of in-patients has been higher in Japan than in England. The admission rate is lower in Japan than in England, and there are more long-stay patients. Most Japanese in-patients are admitted compulsorily, whereas most are admitted voluntarily in England. The attendance at out-patient clinics is higher in Japan than in England, but there are far fewer day-hospital places in Japan. Differing government policies are the main reason for these differences.