The Japanese yen’s assault on the dollar in 2008 has spilled over into another significant cost-of-living allowance boost for U.S. servicemembers in mainland Japan and Okinawa in the New Year, according to online figures posted by the Pentagon’s per diem committee.

The COLA rate made a comeback in a few South Korea locations. After sitting flat for a month, it rebounded from 102 to 110 in Seoul while troops at Kimhae and Busan again will receive an allowance at 106.

There still is no COLA elsewhere on the Korean peninsula, where the won’s value against the dollar plummeted last year.

On Monday, a dollar will be worth 1,281 South Korean won, according to the exchange rate posted online by Community Bank. For much of last summer, it was relatively stable at about 975 won per $1.

In most areas of mainland Japan, COLA jumped six points in the latest change, which took effect last Thursday. That includes Yokota Air Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Misawa Air Base, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Sasebo Naval Base and Camp Fuji.

It soared eight points in Tokyo, while troops stationed on Okinawa saw a four-point climb.

All the increases will appear in servicemembers’ next paychecks.

The recent allowance boosts in mainland Japan and Okinawa came as the U.S. greenback sank to a 13-year low against the yen last month. On Monday, the dollar’s exchange rate is expected to be 88 yen at military banking facilities.

According to, the yen gained 19 percent on the dollar in 2008. However, the dollar rose to 92.28 yen from 90.81 in trading last Friday.

Yen and won exchange rates are reviewed at least twice a month by the U.S. military’s per diem allowance committee to adjust overseas military COLA as needed. The allowance helps to offset the high cost of living abroad.

A COLA index is used as a guideline to determine how much money servicemembers receive. The actual cash amounts they get depend upon duty station, rank, time in service and number of dependents.

For example, an E-6 with 10 years of service and three dependents living at Misawa and Sasebo can expect about a $40 bump in the next pay period because of the latest adjustment. Meanwhile, a single E-4 with three years of service living in the barracks at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul will pick up an extra $30.

COLA fluctuations are based on two surveys — the Living Pattern Survey that studies where troops shop and what they buy, and the Retail Price Schedule that measures how much those items cost at the stores.

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