The following are prohibited from any type of government shipment:
-- Lighter Fluid, Flash Bulbs, Shoe Polish, Aerosol Cans, Kerosene, Explosives, Illegal Drugs, Dangerous Substances, Animals, Privately Owned Ammunition etc.
RADIO COMMUNICATION/TRANSMISSION EQUIPMENT:
No such equipment should be shipped into Okinawa without prior approval. Based upon a demonstrated need, approval may be granted if the Government of Japan importation and licensing requirements are met.
TV SATELLITE DISHES:
Importation is totally prohibited.
Japan Customs randomly check sealed containers and are authorized to open, inspect, and check any personal property crates/packages in the presence of the responsible carrier's representative without the approval of the member but will notify the Personal Property Office of their actions. The Japan Customs authority requires all personal property to be imported within 6 months of member's first arrival. Because of this random ability to check, we strongly urge you to follow all guidelines and bring only what is legally allowed.
DON'T PACK THEM! Japan has strict censorship laws, which go far beyond limiting "X-rated" materials. So leave any questionable material behind. For shipping movies, the best solution is to mail your tapes to your sponsor via the Fleet Post Office. Write "household goods" on the customs form, and pick them up when you arrive. You may be reimbursed for your mailing expenditures associated with a PCS. Obtain a letter of guarantee from your shipping office beforehand, to ensure your claim is honored..
FIREARMS, FIREWORKS AND PROJECTILE WEAPONS ARE PROHIBITED:
American personnel are not authorized to bring either firearms or fireworks into Okinawa. Additionally, importing air guns, paintball guns, bows and arrows is a jailable offense in Okinawa. Check with your current Personal Property Office for appropriate governmental regulations on firearm storage.
WHAT CAN YOU FIND HERE?
Most things are available in Okinawa. It's a matter of finding a source and often paying a higher price than you paid in the States. If you have specific products that you use regularly, bring a supply to last you a few months until you find a source, or ask your sponsor if your item is carried here. If you enjoy cooking, you may consider bringing your favorite ingredients. Bring the catalogues you like to shop from and get on the mailing lists for others that you might find useful. Internet shopping is increasing in popularity, and items from popular U.S. stores like Wal-mart and Target arrive in as few as 4 days.
If you want to bring certain consumable items with you because you aren't sure whether you will have access to them in Okinawa, you may now ship them without counting them against your total household goods weight limit. If your toddler will only eat a certain brand of canned green beans, you can ship as many cans as you want without leaving your master bedroom suite in storage. Ask your Personal Property Office about the rules.
Alcoholic beverages cannot be imported in your Personal Property Shipments. There is no need to be concerned about these commodities anyway as a wide range of spirits, beers and wines are readily available at the local Navy Exchange Store at prices more economical than even military package stores stateside. Special ordering is also possible through the NEX.
HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND ELECTRICITY:
To run appliances from the U.S., you will need transformers, 4-5 of which will be provided through the U.S. Housing Office. Keep in mind that appliances that must run at certain speeds will only work for a short period of time before failing. Some people find that their U.S. clocks will not keep the correct time and vacuum cleaners may burn out. A chest freezer is supplied in all military family and unaccompanied personnel housing. You may desire to ship an additional freezer to supplement the refrigerator/freezer provided because at times we are able to purchase U.S. meat products in large quantities from supply ships coming through the area. Also, meat products can be purchased on the economy.
Major appliances (washer, dryer, stove, countertop dishwasher, and refrigerator) are provided at Housing. The stove and refrigerator are supplied in most rental units in other areas, and landlords will negotiate the installation of washers. U.S. lamps will work in Okinawa, if living in housing on base.