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A Japanese long-distance telephone service provider for some U.S. military bases in Japan and Okinawa is lowering its international calling rates to the United States and other countries.

KDDI Corp. announced this week it would reduce both international and domestic phone rates.

The changes were scheduled to take effect Friday for Air Force, Army and Marine personnel on Okinawa, with calls to the United States dropping from 4.5 yen to 3.9 yen a minute (about 4 cents to 3 cents), said Shinsuke Kurita, managing director for KDDI Okinawa Corp.’s Tokyo regional sales department. At intervals later this year, mainland Japan’s 5-yen-per-minute rate also will decrease to 3.9.

Kurita said the company’s operating costs have dropped significantly, and that savings is being passed on to customers.

Significant rate drops also occurred in 2003 and 2004.

Phone charges at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni will be reduced Aug. 1, while rates at Camp Zama, Yokota Air Base and Misawa Air Base are expected to fall around Oct. 1, Kurita said.

KDDI Corp. does not serve Navy bases.

A telephone customer service representative from Yokota’s 374th Communications Squadron said Thursday the official date isn’t firm but the adjustment would be implemented at some point early in the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

Local calls within a city’s dialing area will go from 4.82 yen to 4.2 yen per three minutes at military installations on Okinawa and Japan, officials said. Long-distance rates within Japan, meanwhile, are being lowered from 4.01 yen to 3.75 yen per unit.

According to Kurita, long-distance calls within the country are calculated based on distance. Units are higher for those placed to destinations that are farther away.

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