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Air Force Staff Sgt. Samuel Clem, with the 35th Communications Squadron at Misawa Air Base, Japan, cleans debris from Noda Village on Friday.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Samuel Clem, with the 35th Communications Squadron at Misawa Air Base, Japan, cleans debris from Noda Village on Friday. (T.D. Flack/Stars and Stripes)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The State Department said Friday it had erroneously reported which federal workers in Japan will qualify for extra pay due to hardship following a deadly natural disaster and nuclear crisis.All U.S. civilian workers in 18 prefectures — including those in central and northern Japan where major military installations are located — will receive the hardship pay, which provides a 10-percent boost to base compensation.All locally hired Department of Defense employees in those areas of Japan are eligible, according to the State Department.Department spokeswoman Christy Maier said pay tables published on Sunday had omitted many areas that are covered by the hardship benefit, including Yokota Air Base, Naval Air Faciltiy Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Camp Zama and Misawa Air Base.Stars and Stripes requested an explanation of the pay scale from the department for three days but received no response. A story was published Friday detailing the ommissions.According to State Department guidelines, the hardship pay benefit is given when, and only when, the place [of work] involves extraordinarily difficult living conditions, excessive physical hardship, or notably unhealthful conditions affecting the majority of employees officially stationed or detailed at that place. Central and northern Japan, along with the U.S. military bases there, have been gripped by concerns over radiation leaking from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which was damaged during a record 9.0 magnitude earthquake and deadly tsunamis March 11.As part of an authorized departure program, about 7,000 military family members voluntarily evacuated from the bases over the past three weeks as Japan struggled to contain radiation from the plant.Meanwhile, DOD employees such as teachers have been required to stay in the country.The following 18 prefectures which are covered by the hardship differential for all USG civilian employees as of March 27: Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Iwate, Kanagawa, Miyagi, Nagano, Niigita, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Tokyo-to, Yamagata and Yamanashi.The hardship allowance will remain in effect until the end of the State Department’s authorized departure program, according to a State Department memo.trittent@pstripes.osd.mil

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