Anonymous asked in TravelAsia PacificJapan · 1 decade ago

What are expenses like for military families in japan?

My husband is military and we have one child. In two months the military will be shipping our family to Yokota air base, in Japan. We received our packet but there is just about no info in it. Just clubs on base and a greeting paper from our sponsor, that’s it. It is very frustrating. I am all panic because this is my husbands and my first overseas tour. I think like 90yen = $1 in American. My knowledge, I’m probably most likely wrong. But still. We have very few furniture because most of ours is my families. So it will not be leaving with us. So when we move to Japan we will need new furniture, well new everything. Except clothes and bedroom furniture. So any idea on where to get cheap furniture, everywhere I look online is crazy expensive. Like one couch being $1000 American. That’s insane. Also, the price of food, alone has me worried. I do not know what to expect there. Is it going to cost twice the usual amount we pay in the US? Also, if anyone is living on this particular base, what is the housing like? The latest bit of new info on base housing I have, dates back to 1999.

4 Answers

  • area52
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    All the housing facilities and furniture will be provided by the base administration free of charge. Yokota AB has a huge shopping center where you can buy almost anything you need in your daily life. You do not need to worry about dollar-yen exchange rate unless you shop off base. Why do you purchase expensive Japanese items when you can buy US products on base tax free?

    Yokota AB is complete with two elementary schools, a high-school, college education courses, a library, a football field, a baseball ground, swimming pools, movie theaters, churches, discos, a 9-hole golf course, officers' and NCO clubs. You don't need to go outside the base.

    One thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that almost all the facilities on USF bases are built and maintained by Japanese government. Japanese tax payers are paying 75% of all USFJ expenses, including utility bills, except for the salaries for USF personnel. Living environment on the base is excellent. But, please don't take it for granted.

    Another thing you need to know is that Japanese media and Japanese citizens are always watching USF activities in Japan. Not all of them are friendly towards USF.

    Source(s): used to work on Yokota AB as a Japanese civilian.
  • 1 decade ago

    Breathe! I'm married to a Marine and we have been in Japan for a year. You can get loaner furniture until you can buy some. There is an IKEA here and Nafco has good prices on furniture. Also, check out the recycle shops (resale stores). Good quality and affordable prices. Your COLA will adjust with the exchange rate. Today I got 22 dollars from 2000 yen, so we're lower, but our pay was adjusted to reflect that. Don't worry about food. I do most of my shopping on base just because I like to buy more meat than what is offered in town. You will want to buy local produce, though. Fresher and generally cheaper. Relax, you'll make friends with the other wives and everything will be OK!

    Source(s): Married to a Marine, living in Japan 1 year.
  • 1 decade ago

    Did you just recently marry a military person? First thing you need to do ASAP is get in touch with your husband's sponsor and articulate your worries/needs. Second, you need to go to family support on the base you are currently at and get all the info you can on Yokota. Finally, as far as the furniture thing, you should be able to get loaner furniture. When I went to Okinawa in 2003, I didn't have any and the air force gave me all I needed until I left in 2006. All of it was new out of the box. Only thing with loaner furniture is if you damage it, you pay for it....government prices; not true price. As far as food, they have a nice commissary on Yokota and prices are about US equal so don't worry too much about that. Even if you live a substantial distance from Yokota, you can still find comparable prices on some things (except meat) at Japanese supermarkets such as Jusco or San-A

    Source(s): 5 years total of living in Japan and retired air force.
  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think you have to worry about the expense at all. I have friends who live on the base (not Yokota) and they have so much more space though regular Japanese! As far as I know, the living expense (rent and utilities) is paid for by the military (or as one poster said, by the Japanese tax payers), you will shop on base where there are grocery stores and your child will go to school on the base as well.

    Some Japanese may be apprehensive about military presence because of the crimes that were committed. I know, there are Japanese criminals as well, but when we are in Japan supposedly to keep the peace, then even one incident is one too many and it gives the rest of the American military personnel bad reputation.

    You should contact the military to get all the details, I know my friends are enjoying their stay in Japan and they don't have to worry about their kid as much as they would have in the US cause the crime rate is very low compare to the US.

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