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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The free ride is over.

Beginning in mid-June, toll booths on the Okinawa Expressway, Aomori Expressway near Misawa and West Kyushu Expressway in Sasebo will begin charging again, although no exact date has been set, Japanese officials confirmed Thursday.

The toll-free program was implemented in June of last year to fulfill a government campaign promise of cutting the nation’s costly tolls, but must now be reversed to generate funds in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, officials from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said.

Some Sasebo personnel said the tolls will create a new set of challenges for those who commute often to and from the main base for their children’s athletics and shopping.

“It does cost a lot, especially with kids in sports,” said military spouse Jamie Denton, whose family lives in the remote Hario housing area.

Denton, who arrived in Sasebo shortly before the toll-free program was implemented, was forced to plan around the tolls, making sure exact change was ready the night before or be forced into taking a longer alternate route in the morning. She said a flat monthly rate, prepaid, would be ideal for families.

“If you could do a monthly thing, it would alleviate that stress,” Denton said.

Officials from the West Nippon Expressway Company, which operates national expressways in western Japan, said Thursday that after the program ends, the fee schedule will be revised and publicized.

The program — covering a total of 37 roads and about 1,000 miles, or about 20 percent of the nation’s toll roads — was originally supposed to last only 10 months and drew the ire of some lawmakers.

burkem@pstripes.osd.mil

sumidac@pstripes.osd.mil

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