Apparently Mr. Murphy and his law know kanji.

Against a backdrop of a declining dollar and climbing gas prices, spring has set upon us with that most Japanese of rites — road tax.

Paid in yen, road tax is collected on Okinawa beginning May 1 from owners of all private vehicles to help defray the cost of maintaining Japan’s roadways.

Taxes are proportional to engine size: the bigger the engine, the higher the tax.

Besides the cost, the thought of going to the local municipal office can be intimidating to many. But if Defense Department personnel plan ahead, car owners — except for those with mini cars and motorcycles — won’t even have to go off base to pay the taxes.

The Joint Services Vehicle Registration Office has set days and locations for people to pay their road taxes.

If the payment is handled on base, officials said, vehicle owners can have someone else take care of it without granting a power of attorney.

“Personnel who are currently under way are able to pay their road tax at the tax office when they return from deployment,” Yokosuka Naval Base Security Officer Paul Bradley said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.

Failure to pay taxes could result in vehicle impoundment and denial of base access, military officials said.

Road tax season coincides with the expiration date of base decals. To get updated decals, you need the following items:

Proof of payment of your 2008 road tax.A status-of-forces-agreement driver’s license.Liability insurance.Japanese Compulsory Insurance.A current base inspection sheet for your car.Japanese vehicle title.Military vehicle registration.Certificate of title of motor vehicle (DD Form 430).A valid SOFA ID card.A valid parking certificate (if applicable).Motorists won’t get their base decals until any outstanding traffic fines are paid.Where and when to pay

Road taxes for all white Y-plate cars may be paid at the following locations and dates:

Camp KinserSurfside ClubMay 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Camp FosterFoster Field HouseMay 2, 7 and 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 9 from noon to 3:30 p.m.

Kadena Air BaseKeystone TheaterMay 12 to 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Torii StationSoldiers CenterMay 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30

Camp CourtneyBase TheaterMay 20 and 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Camp HansenThe PalmsMay 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Mini-car (yellow “A” plates) and motorcycle taxes must be paid April 1 to May 31 at the local city, town or village offices from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

Owners must then bring their road tax receipt to the Joint Services Vehicle Registration Office on Camp Foster or a base collection site to receive a 2008 road tax sticker.

For more information contact the Joint Services Vehicle Registration Office at DSN 645-7481 or 3963.

Here are the various plates and taxes:

44Y, 400Y; 56Y, 57Y, 58Y, 500Y, 529Y plates — 7,500 yen.33Y, 300Y, 329Y plates; 4.5L and lower — 19,000 yen.4.6L and above — 22,000 yen.11Y, 100Y plates — 32,000 yen.Mini cars — 3,000 yen.Motorcycles up to 125cc — 500 yen.126cc and above — 1,000 yen.— Stars and Stripes

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