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MOVING TO JAPAN?
Once you make the decision to move to Japan, you have two options for your current housing. If you own your home, you can decide to sell or rent your property. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, dependent on many factors that are unique to you. Think through this carefully and consult professional experts prior to making any decision.
If you rent where you live, the decision is a little easier. Give your Landlord the proper notice and start preparing mentally for the next step in the moving process – what do you do with all your stuff?
As soon as you are alerted to your upcoming PCS move, you can start getting your house and family ready. Clean up and get rid of junk. Hold a yard sale or take serviceable items you no longer need to a thrift shop or donate to charity. Get important family records together in one place. You can even check your allowances and estimate the weight of your household goods before you start to set up your move.
You should begin to plan what items you will take in your unaccompanied baggage, in your household goods shipment, and what might need to go into permanent storage.
Some other things to consider:
Depending how long you plan to be overseas you may want to bring family photo albums or framed pictures. If you put them all in storage you may wish you had some if you end up extending. If you have a favorite hobby with lots of supporting equipment but put it all in storage you may wind up paying for it again. Think carefully about what is important to you. Also keep in mind your kids ages when deciding what will move with you and what will go into storage. If you have very small children and put lots of toys and clothes in storage they'll have out-grown them all when you return. Also look at all your electrical items and observe whether they will run on 50/60 hertz power.
Below are some helpful links that will help you with your Household Goods (HHG) shipment.
Schedule Your Move
NAVSUP – Household Goods and Personal Property
“It’s Your Move” Dept. of Defense (*DOD) Civilian Employees
Managing a Government Move
NAVSUP – 1st Time Movers Information
Storage of your Personally Owned Vehicle
Our pet(s) is/are part of our family. Decisions whether or not to bring them to Japan are very personal and a concern for those in Public Health Command District - Japan (PHCD-J). This section will detail the Japan pet policy and how you can set you (and your pet) up for success during your move.
Are you bringing, or planning to bring, pets to Japan? Here is some important information you need to know beforehand.
Pets cannot ride on the official Navy buses to Yokosuka, not even in the baggage compartment. Contact your Sponsor for an assist, or contact the Bus Transportation Liaison at firstname.lastname@example.org OR by phone at 011-81-46-816-7777 (international) 315-243-7777 (DSN from the US). The bus liaison needs several days, and a copy of your orders, to facilitate a transportation assist for pets.
Pets cannot stay at the Navy Lodge. Contact the NEX Kennel for a reservation for pet boarding. The number is 011-81-46-816-4530 (from the US). The NEX Kennel is open 0900-1500, Monday-Friday. (Yes, someone is there on the weekend to care for the pets.) ALSO contact the Navy Lodge to let them know about your arrival with a pet. If you will arrive after the NEX Kennel is closed, please contact your command for further assistance.
Pet import information is provided online at the following webpages:
Once you are selected for employment at SRF-JRMC you will be assigned a sponsor. Your sponsor is your advocate at your new duty station. The sponsor's job is to facilitate arrangements for your arrival and provide general assistance ranging from answering your specific questions about your new job, ensuring your transportation from the airport to your new duty station, making temporary housing arrangements for you upon arrival, and anything else you might ask. Their job is to help you prepare for the big transition. Put them to work for you and don't be shy. Ask as many questions as needed to ensure your family's peace of mind. You are making decisions that will impact your life for a significant amount of time and your sponsor can be a wealth of information if you ask.
Checklists are a very important part of the PCS process and not only help you “not forget” things but also help ensure proper lead time to get things done. Some standard checklists relating to PCS are provided at the links below and will help you organize and prioritize the things that need to get done. Use them to make your own lists and research items that are not well-covered as much as possible. This is vital to ensure your loose ends are tied before you embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Be proactive. Start early and add things that uniquely apply to you. The transition overseas comes with a certain amount of stress. Your proactive preparations and attention to personal details will minimize the stress on you and your family especially as the time gets closer for the big move.