Moving to Okinawa Japan

Jayvineh

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Hey everyone, I tried doing some research about this and I wasn’t able to find much. I’m getting stationed next summer in Okinawa Japan and I’m trying to decide if bringing my 2019 Mustang GT is a good idea or not. It’s a pretty small tropical island. I’ve heard you have to pay tax per engine displacement there. I’ve also heard that left side driven muscle cars are sought after in Japan, but I wasn’t able to find much to support this. Does anyone have any experience? Thanks!
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shogun32

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I’m trying to decide if bringing my 2019 Mustang GT is a good idea or not
don't. Japanese emissions and safety inspection are a force to be reckoned with. Unless you are just bringing it over to sell it at a markup when you go home... Validate that the markup even exists. Had you been stationed on Honshu you would have at least had some place to drive it. Or you can take the 30hr ferry ride I guess.

and JDM cars are cooler anyhow. Bringing a Skyline GT back Stateside would likely net you a lot more money and cool points.
 
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Jayvineh

Jayvineh

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don't. Japanese emissions and safety inspection are a force to be reckoned with. Unless you are just bringing it over to sell it at a markup when you go home... Validate that the markup even exists. Had you been stationed on Honshu you would have at least had some place to drive it. Or you can take the 30hr ferry ride I guess.

and JDM cars are cooler anyhow. Bringing a Skyline GT back Stateside would likely net you a lot more money and cool points.
Okay thanks, I appreciate the input. From what I’m seeing the markup wouldn’t be worth the transport and the potential damage to my car. I don’t want to leave it, but it sounds like the best option.
 

shogun32

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I don’t want to leave it, but it sounds like the best option.
I'm sure you can find a few people who will take care of your car in the meantime - drive it around to keep the oil freshly circulated (don't want those cams and crank seals to rust/leak from idleness :) ) and, the tires from flat-spotting and maybe even throw a bucket of soapy-looking liquid at it to keep the dust layer down... Heh
 

Spork3245

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You could be like the kid in Fast & Furious 3 and put a GT-R engine in the Mustang, but it’ll still sound like a V8 because reasons!
***I have zero helpful information

If you’re going to be stationed there for awhile, IMO, bring it. At the very least you could wind up selling it as you are correct that, afaik, American sports/muscle cars are rare in Japan. (Obviously check what you’d make on it)
 

raptor17GT

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LHD cars esp muscle cars are popular in japan, went to a meet and show in Tokyo January just gone and plenty of american cars there and the Auto Salon show had display upon display for American Cars. JDM cars are amazing for sure but muscle cars hold their own :thumbsup:

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DILLIGAFTXVET

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I was stationed in Okinawa a while back and unless the rules have changed you cant take a newer car like a 2019 there. I would sell or store, save and buy another or buy mods fore when you return.
 

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I'm sure you can find a few people who will take care of your car in the meantime - drive it around to keep the oil freshly circulated (don't want those cams and crank seals to rust/leak from idleness :) ) and, the tires from flat-spotting and maybe even throw a bucket of soapy-looking liquid at it to keep the dust layer down... Heh
I volunteer as tribute?
 

RaceRed5.0

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Some pretty nice beaches in Okinawa though.
 

99Zeus99

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Okay thanks, I appreciate the input. From what I’m seeing the markup wouldn’t be worth the transport and the potential damage to my car. I don’t want to leave it, but it sounds like the best option.
Haven't been to Okinawa in 25 years but back in the day, everyone that was smart bought American cars or Harleys and have DOD ship them if they were PCS. It was free to the service member and they could turn a nice profit selling their vehicle to a Japanese national. There's nowhere you are gonna drive without a SOFA license there. The public transportation is clean and the island is small. I would do it if the MIL will ship it no cost to you. A Mustang GT would make major bank there. Good luck and don't forget to hop around on leave over there, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Australia etc.
 
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Jayvineh

Jayvineh

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LHD cars esp muscle cars are popular in japan, went to a meet and show in Tokyo January just gone and plenty of american cars there and the Auto Salon show had display upon display for American Cars. JDM cars are amazing for sure but muscle cars hold their own :thumbsup:

1+.jpg
That’s awesome!
 

DILLIGAFTXVET

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Honestly after living there 6 years i wouldnt want to take my new Mustang there. Typhoons every season, coral dust, salty air would probably ruin it before you moved back. I owned 5 cars in 6 years. One of them i had to get rid of because it literally rusted a hole in the roof inside where the sunroof slid in when it was open. There are plenty of cheap cars to get you by in your time there. The fasted speed limit on the island when i was there was on the expressway that you had to pay to use and it was only 80 kmph. Most of the time it was around 30 to 40 kmph
 

Dave2013M3

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My wife is from Japan, not from Okinawa but from Honshu (main island) near Yokohama. I had a 2004 BMW E46 M3 that I bought new and was going to take it with us as I was considering moving there for while. I was told flat out if I converted the car to what would be needed to be able to operate in Japan that the car wouldn't be allowed back to the states. It ended up we didn't move there....love Japan though. Are you USMC? If so Semper Fi brother, from an old US Army Infantry dog...
 
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