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Hefty problems prevail with Y-plate car parking

Date Posted: 2010-05-28

Japanese law requires that people provide proof of an assigned parking space before they’re permitted to register their cars, but officials now say American service personnel with Y-plate licenses are in flagrant violation.

Of the 13,163 Y-plate vehicles registered in Japan, 3,293 are in Okinawa, with only 19 of those having a parking permit. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism requires the parking certificate from all Americans who live off base and have Y-plates. Approximately 25% of service personnel assigned to Okinawa live off base.

Nationwide, according to the Ministry, 3,003 cars with Y-plates are properly registered with approved parking permits. Only cars operated by people living off base are required to have the permits. The Ministry says other prefectures have been requiring Y-plate vehicle owners to produce the parking permit paperwork, but says Okinawa has been remiss in asking for parking certificates, and in enforcing the law.

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