Developing a sense of community here starts before you arrive at MCAS Iwakuni. 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 Family Housing (FH) Office 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. Additionally, AMC has also begun to enforce the requirement for Special Issuance Passports (i.e., No-Fee) for USCS civilians and dependents of SOFA members travelling to Japan. Please consult your Sponsor for verification.
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 at the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page. 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 MCAS Iwakuni, arrange to meet your sponsor or someone from your unit upon arrival. Communication with your Sponsor is key to a successful transition to MCAS Iwakuni.
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, MCAS Iwakuni has limited storage facilities at a cost to you that will accommodate excess household items. Local rental storage units are also limited and DMO 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 Inns of the Corps 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 MCAS Iwakuni Local Conditions Course (offered at Welcome Aboard brief). Active Duty, DoD civilians, SOFA status contractors and their dependents may attend this course. Personnel must be assigned to MCAS Iwakuni and on PCS or TDY orders more than 30 days. 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. For more details, please visit the Driving in Japan page.
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. Visit local Iwakuni Facebook pages for sample advertisements of products available for sale.
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 Housing Self-Help. There are many options for telephone, internet, and VPN’s. Recommend visiting local Iwakuni Facebook pages and ask around. You’ll find many choices when it comes to these options with everyone having views on the service they are getting.
If you have any questions, please contact the Military Family Housing Office at DSN (315) 253-5541 OR commercial number 011-81-827-5541. You may also send inquiries to email@example.com.