Road tax season returns

News

Road tax season returns

by: Takahiro Takiguchi | .
Stripes Okinawa | .
published: May 09, 2013

It’s time to pay your annual road taxes, which are mandated by Japanese law based on vehicle engine size. All Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) personnel are required to pay their road taxes in order to receive their base vehicle decals for 2013. 

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.

“We visit each military installation in Okinawa and collect taxes every year,” said Kumiko Ikema, of Okinawa Prefecture’s Automobile Tax Office. “The people are always very cooperative and I am very grateful for that.”

Payments must be made by May 31 either on base or at the local Japanese tax office.  Remember, payments must be made in yen – U.S. currency, checks and credit cards are not accepted. For your convenience, Community Bank services will be available at or close to each collection site. 

“Since some collection sites do not have a currency exchange counter, I encourage people to come prepared with Japanese yen in cash when paying their taxes on base,” Ikema emphasized.

It is also important to note that some collection sites may close early. Vehicles without new decals will not be allowed to be driven on or after June 1, depending on the base.

“The road tax for a regular four-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,” according to Tetsuji Kurihara, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Taxation’s planning division head. “As for the mini-car and motorcycle tax, which is called Light Motor Vehicle Tax, ward, city, town or village governments collect them.  Both road taxes were originally established for vehicle owners to bear a proportionate share of the cost in maintaining roads. So, regardless of nationalities, it is mandatory for virtually anyone who owns a vehicle and who drives in Japan to pay the road tax within the allotted time period.”

Anyone can pay road taxes for deployed or absent vehicle owners. 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.

For more information contact the Joint Service Vehicle Registration Office at 645-7481/3963.

What to bring?

Drivers should bring these items when paying road tax on their base:

  • 2012 Road Tax Receipt
  • Liability insurance
  • Japanese Compulsory Insurance (JCI)
  • Japanese vehicle title
  • Military vehicle registration
  • Japanese yen

A new base decal is issued at the end of the tax-paying procedure when road tax is paid on a U.S. installation.  For taxes paid at the tax office, vehicle owners must stop by the Joint Service Vehicle Registration Office or event site to receive their decal.

Where and when to go

  • Automobile Tax
    Road Tax for regular 4-wheel vehicles (Prefectural Tax)

Camp Kinzer:
May 7 at Surf Side
from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Camp Foster:
May 8, 9, 10 at Base theater
from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Kadena Air Base:
May 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 at Keystone Theater
from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Torii Station:
May 20 at Chapel Annex
from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Camp Courtney:
May 21, 22 at Base theater
from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Camp Hansen:
May 23 at The Palms
from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Camp Schwab:
May 24 at Camp Services
from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

  • Light Motor Vehicle Tax
    Road Tax for mini-cars and motorcycles (City/Town/Village Tax)

April 1 to May 31 at Local City, Town or Village Offices
from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

How much?

Road taxes can be determined by the number shown on the top of each vehicle’s license plate, which identifies the vehicle’s engine size.

For more information, contact the Joint Service Vehicle Registration Office.

  • Automobile Tax
    Road Tax for regular 4-wheel vehicles (Prefectural Tax)

Vehicle plates and taxes
40/400 and 50/500 plates: 7,500 yen
33/300 plates (4.5 liter engines and below): 19,000 yen
33/300 plates (4.6 liter engines and above): 22,000 yen
11/100 and 88/800 plates: 32,000 yen

  • Light Motor Vehicle Tax
    Road Tax for mini-cars and motorcycles (City/Town/Village Tax)

Mini-cars: 3,000 yen
Motorcycles up to 125cc: 500 yen
Motorcycles 126cc and above: 1,000 yen