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Developing a sense of community here starts before you arrive at Yokota AB. We recognize the efforts behind this transition and want to make sure you are satisfied with the details of your move. To obtain Referral and Relocation Assistance, we encourage you to reach out for personalized services provided by the Military Housing Office (MHO) staff.
While active-duty U.S. military personnel may enter Japan under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with proper Department of Defense (DoD) identification and travel orders, all SOFA family members, civilian employees and contractors must have a valid passport and, in some cases, a SOFA visa to enter Japan. Active-duty military personnel should obtain a tourist passport prior to leaving the United States to accommodate off-duty travel elsewhere in Asia as obtaining one while in Japan can take several weeks. Personnel whose duties will include official travel should also obtain an Official Passport before coming to Japan to avoid delays of up to 2 months, as from overseas these applications must be referred to a special office in Washington, adding processing times. DoD travelers should consult the DoD Foreign Clearance Guide, DoD 4500.54, before leaving the United States.
The Department of State offices in Japan disseminate threat information through their nationwide email warden system and posts current threat information on the U.S. Embassy in Japan website. Anyone may sign up for emailed warden system messages through the Web site. The Department of State continues to develop information about potential threats to American citizens overseas and to share threat information through its consular information program documents available on the Internet at the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov. The government of Japan is vigilant in tracking terrorist threat indicators and remains at a high state of alert. Local police substations (Koban) and police emergency dispatchers (tel. 110) should be contacted to report suspicious activity.
The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad."
Planning Your Move
Moving to an oversea location requires additional planning to make sure you and your family are prepared for the transition. There are many things you can do before you arrive to ensure the process settling into your new home and community is seamless.
Prior to travel to Yokota AB, arrange to meet your sponsor or someone from your unit upon arrival. If you arrive on a business day during normal duty hours, have your sponsor escort you to the UH Management Office. An ADL will take you through the process of checking you into your room and perform a move-in inspection and inventory of issued furnishings and supplies.
If you arrive on the weekend or after normal duty hours, have your sponsor make arrangements to pick up your room key from the UH Management Office or acquire a hospitality room for you until you can meet with an ADL. If you obtain your room key outside of normal duty hours, it is still mandatory to report to the UH Management Office the next duty day for in-processing.
House Hold Goods
Due to the smaller size of government quarters and community housing, all members are highly encouraged not to ship their full JFTR weight allowance. Therefore, we recommend that you utilize your Non-Temporary Storage entitlement at origin. In the event you ship your full JFTR weight allowance, Yokota AB has limited storage facilities at a cost to you that will accommodate excess household items. Local rental storage units are also limited and housing/TMO will not ship items back to the continental U.S. for non-temporary storage.
Prior to your arrival, you need to secure temporary accommodations. Visit the Kanto Lodge Website for contact information and details about the lodging facilities and amenities.
Persons who desire to operate a privately owned vehicle must possess a U.S. civilian license and attend the Yokota AB Local Conditions Course (offered at Right Start). Active Duty, DoD civilians, SOFA status contractors and their dependents may attend this course. Personnel must be assigned to Yokota AB, the U.S. Embassy, or to an isolated location administratively supported by Yokota AB, on PCS or TDY orders more than 30 days. Sponsors must sign-in dependents under age 18 and over the age of 16. Once you complete the required drivers training, you will be granted a USFJ Form 4EJ, the drivers' license legally valid for use in Japan by U.S. forces operating a privately owned or SOFA registered vehicle. If you have questions about the program, contact the 374 AW Safety Office at DSN (315) 225-SAFE (7233).
The electrical current in Japan is 100 volts and 50 hertz as opposed to 120 volts and 60 hertz in the United States. Small appliances, with the exception of appliances with timing devices installed, will work at this lower voltage, but check the data plate on the back of your devices before shipment. Departing service members often sell their used 100 volt appliances for a reasonable price. For advertisements of products available, view the local base newspaper; ask the Family and Airmen Readiness Center, The Airman's Attic, and Yokota Ads.
Telephone, Internet and Television
Fiber Optical and cable TV are becoming mainstreams for telephone (IP phone), internet, and TV services. If an antenna for digital broadcasting is installed at your house, you can watch Japanese TV channels. If you wish to watch American channels, you must have either fiber-optic or cable TV. Decoder boxes may be used, but are subject to eligibility and availability in FMO.
The information below serves as a starting point to help you get a phone, Internet, and TV set up in your community housing. It is not an endorsement of the companies listed. You need to get permission from your landlord to install fiber-optic or cable TV beforehand. Below are the companies that provide fiber-optic or cable TV services:
- NTT East Japan Agent (Fuji Denwa) near Yokota AB
- NTT East Information Center
- Yahoo! Broadband
- Tama Cable
For families, we understand that where your children attend school plays a large factor in the decision of where to live. For more information about schools, see the Yokota Schools section on our Newcomer's Information page.
Airman and Family Readiness Center (AFRC)
The AFRC is another great resource to obtain pertinent information about the area. DSN (315) 225-8725, COM 011-81-3117-55-8725.
If you have any questions or require additional support, please contact the MHO for more information about preparing for your move to this location. DSN (315) 225-8636, COM 011-81-3117-55-8636 or send an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Military members are entitled to various allowances to ensure the transition to a new location is as smooth and stress free as possible. If you have any questions about the allowances listed, please contact the MHO.
Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) and Move-In Housing Allowance (MIHA)
For overseas areas only, individuals moving into community housing may be eligible for OHA and MIHA. Specific circumstances, conditions and requirements of OHA or MIHA are identified in the Joint Federal Travel Regulations.
These extra allowances are in place to off-set the higher costs of living in overseas communities. OHA is a reimbursement and based on actual expenses for rental and utility/recurring maintenance allowances. It is adjusted every pay period for changes in exchange rates.
Members are also authorized a one-time Move-In Housing Allowance (MIHA). This allowance is provided for the purchase of supplemental items not normally available in foreign housing, but considered standard when renting in the community at U.S. locations such as window coverings, light fixtures, electricity connection, etc.
For more information about your OHA and MIHA, visit the Defense Travel Management Office Website.
Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA)
When you arrive at Yokota AB, you will stay in temporary accommodations until you move into permanent quarters. TLA is an entitlement to partially offset the more-than-normal expenses incurred during occupancy of temporary lodging. You will be offered the first available unit in your grade category and bedroom authorization, regardless of your preference. If you choose to turn down your first offer for personal preference, you will not lose your position on the waiting list; however, your TLA will stop and your Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) will be your only entitlement. You will not be entitled to receive Basic allowance for Housing (BAH) once TLA is terminated. If you choose to wait for a personal housing preference, you will incur out-of-pocket expenses to retain lodging.
Living Quarters Allowance (LQA)
Civilian employees recruited from the U.S. who prefer to live in the local community may be entitled to receive an LQA. LQA is in addition to other allowances and, in most cases, covers most of the costs of housing, heat, electricity, trash, water, and sewer service. The maximum allowable rates depend on the location of the duty assignment, employee grade and number of dependents living with the employee. LQA is a reimbursement and is based on actual expenses. It is adjusted every pay period for changes in monetary exchange rates. For more information go to the State Department website.
Financing Your Up-Front Move-In Cost
All service military members are entitled to a 100 percent advance of required, up-front rent payments and security deposits. Service members must pay back the advanced rent in 12 monthly payments, but may request repayment of security deposits over $500 suspended until termination of the rental contract, at which time, the member must repay the full amount of the security deposit advance.
The MHO will assist you in completing the required paperwork to process your rent advance. For financial entitlement questions, contact the base Financial Services Office. DSN (315) 225-7825, COM 011-81-3117-55-7825.