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TOKYO — U.S. servicemembers in Japan are being encouraged to report how much they pay for rent and utilities as part of a survey designed to help the government establish monthly allowance rates.

The 2007 Overseas Housing Allowance and Move-In Expenses Survey will be conducted in Japan until May 16. The Defense Department’s Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee began collecting the data Tuesday.

Servicemembers who live in privately leased homes can complete the survey online. Last year, about 44 percent of the 8,595 servicemembers who live off base took the survey, said Lt. Col. Loren Darmofal, the financial management officer for U.S. Forces Japan.

“Obviously, we’d like to get as many people to participate as possible,” Darmofal said.

Civilian workers are not involved.

The survey takes about 30 minutes.

Servicemembers are asked to have 12 months of bills or records handy so they can report the average monthly cost of utilities and maintenance. Expenses should be listed in the currency the servicemember paid for them.

Examples of utilities that should be reported, according to USFJ: electricity, heating fuels, tap water, bottled drinking water, trash pickup, sewage, maintenance and minor repairs, insurance required by law, apartment fees, police protection, guards and taxes paid by the tenant.

Servicemembers should not list such things as cable TV, telephone bills, tuition, pet expenses, books, gifts, repairs, personal electrical equipment, automobile fuel costs, auto expenses, postage, road taxes, maid service and yard maintenance.

The survey can be accessed on the Internet at:


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