Cost of living allowances dropped this week for civilian workers at Yokota, Iwakuni, Camp Zama and Misawa and on Okinawa, according to new rates released by the State Department.

The change follows a similar drop at other military installations in Japan earlier this month as the dollar gained some strength against the Japanese yen.

The civilian post allowance index in those five areas dropped from 50 to 42, meaning a decrease of about $195 per month for a civilian with a family of three making $55,000 per year.

The post allowance is meant to offset higher costs of living overseas.

The State Department updates the figures biweekly. To see rate tables, go to:

Theme park to get late start in KoreaSEOUL — Developers of a Universal Studios theme park and resort in South Korea said Tuesday the project will open in 2014 after being delayed by the global financial crisis, The Associated Press reported.

Plans for Universal Studios Korea Resort were announced in May 2007 amid hopes it would be up and running in 2012.

Construction on the $2.7 billion project is now scheduled to begin in 2011, and investors say it will draw 15 million South Korean and foreign visitors a year when open, AP reported.

The resort is to be built in the city of Hwaseong, south of Seoul and close to the area’s main international airport in Incheon. Nearly half of South Korea’s population live within an hour’s drive, according to the report.

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