Okinawa Essentials

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Helpful information for once you arrive: 

Quick snippets and sage advice on your overseas assignment

Vehicle Registration:  It is located on Camp Foster by the commissary and the bowling alley.

Road tax & car purchase:  When you purchase a car, road tax is due every May.  The amount of the road tax depends on the # found on the license plate:  a 300-series plate will cost you 17000Y (about $155/year) versus a 500-series plate which will cost you 7500Y (about $65/year).  This is because the 300-series vehicles have bigger engines.

STAP:  Spouse Tuition Aid Program.  In short, up to $1500/year towards your degree.

American fast-food restaurants off-base/post:  McDonald's, A&W, KFC.  Menus slightly altered from stateside equivalents.

American fast-food restaurants on-base/post:  Anthony's Pizza, Subway, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Popeye's, Charlie's Steakery.

American sit-down food on base/post:  Chili's (on Kadena AB), Macaroni Grill (on Camp Foster).

Pets:  Remember, you cannot have an animal in the Towers, so you need to pay attention to this if you plan on moving into quarters soon after arriving.    In the multiplexes and single family housing you can have animals but they take longer to get into.

COLA (Cost of Living Allowance) & OHA (Overseas Housing Allowance):  Unlike stateside, your paycheck will vary from month to month based on COLA.  If you live offbase, it will also vary due to OHA (overseas housing allowance) + your utilities allowance.  All of these amounts vary based on the exchange rate - so the weaker the dollar against the Yen, the more you are paid (and vice versa).

  • See your Cola Rate hereNotes:  Enter locality code of JA027 for Okinawa, Japan.  Also, the amount shown for COLA shows only half the month. 

  • See your OHA (Overseas Housing Allowance) here.  Same locality code of JA027.

  • While the Yen rate changes often, this does not

The free Green Line bus:  Probably the easiest way (if you do not have your own vehicle) to get from Marine Camp to Camp is through the no-fee "The Green Line", which runs 7 days a week.