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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — Starting Aug. 1, the telephone office will switch exclusively to long-distance provider KDDI — a move intended to lower costs for base customers.

The Station Telephone Office also has started using a simpler direct-dialing system for callers wanting to connect to base telephones, said Chief Warrant Officer Robert W. Kurzweil, base telephone officer.

A long-distance call to the United States via a base telephone currently costs 5 yen (about 4½ cents) per minute. When all long distance is routed through KDDI next month, Iwakuni customers will pay 3.9 yen (about 3½ cents) per minute, Kurzweil said.

The base previously used several long-distance providers. “This base was just too small to try to continue offering all the long-distance providers,” Kurzweil said.

Residents will see a 22 percent decrease in international phone rates on calls to the United States, he said.

Another benefit of exclusively using KDDI is billing, Kurzweil said. “They do it all,” he said. “Customers will receive one bill that includes the cost of the basic air station telephone service as well as their long-distance charges.”

The new, simpler direct-dialing option for outside calls to the base is already in use, he added.

Previously, callers had to dial 13 digits to reach an on-base telephone. Now, calls from Iwakuni city to the base require dialing the number 79 plus the four-digit extension.

How to make a call

To call from within the Iwakuni area, dial 79 plus the four-digit extension.

To call from outside the Iwakuni area but within Japan, dial 0827-79 plus the four-digit extension.

To call from the United States and its territories, dial 011-81-827-79 plus the four-digit extension.

To call from other countries, dial the appropriate international access code plus 81-827-79 plus the four-digit extension.

— Greg Tyler

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