Time to pay up! It’s road tax season in Japan!

Time to pay up! It’s road tax season in Japan!

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

It’s time to pay your annual road taxes, which are mandated by Japanese law and based on vehicle engine size.

All Status of Forces Agreement personnel are required to pay their road taxes in order to receive their 2021 base vehicle decals. Luckily, most of you can pay them at U.S. military installations across Japan, where Japanese tax officials will be setting up collection stations to process payments.

Payments must be made by May 31, either on base or at the local Japanese tax office. Remember that payments must be made in yen. If you own more than one vehicle, all of them must be registered at the same time. Vehicles without new decals will not be allowed to be driven on or after June 1).

The road tax for a regular 4-wheel vehicle, which is called ‘Automobile Tax’ in Japan, is levied by the metropolitan or prefectural government to those who own vehicles within the prefecture as of April 1. As for the tax for a mini-car and motorcycle, which is called ‘Light Motor Vehicle Tax’, the city or ward government collects them. Both of the road taxes were originally established for vehicle owners to bear a proportionate share of the cost in maintaining roads. So, regardless of nationality, it is mandatory for virtually anyone who owns a vehicle in Japan to pay the road tax.

Since some collection sites don’t have a currency exchange counter, be sure to prepare Japanese yen cash before you pay your tax on base.

Anyone can pay road taxes for deployed or absent vehicle owners, but a power of attorney may be required to obtain a base decal for anyone other than a spouse. Those unable to make the scheduled base collection times have until May 31 to pay the road tax off base at their
local Japanese tax office, post office or select convenience stores, according to base officials.

takiguchi.takahiro@stripes.com

Camp Zama
April 12-15, staggered based on last name, from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Community Club for regular 4-wheel vehicles. April 15 for Mini-car and motorcycle. For more information, call DSN 263-4337.

Yokota Air Base
No collection on base this year. For more information, call DSN 225-8333.

Yokosuka Naval Base
March 24, 25 and 26, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3:15 p.m. at Fleet Theater (Regular 4-wheel vehicles only).  Mini-car and motorcycle taxes must be paid at Yokosuka City Hall from April 1 to May 31, or at VRO from March 29 to May 31, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call DSN 243-5011.

Naval Air Facility Atsugi
April 26-28, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Club Trilogy for regular 4-wheel vehicle. April 27, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. for motorcycle and mini-car. For more information, call DSN 264-3805.

Misawa Air Base
April 19-23, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Hangar 949 (Bldg. 949) for all vehicles. For more information call DSN 226-3995.

Sasebo Naval Base
No collection on base this year. For more information, call DSN 252-2378.

MCAS Iwakuni
TBD. For more information, call DSN 253-3161.

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