Community News Briefs

By U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public AffairsDecember 6, 2022

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The following news briefs are provided to help keep our community informed about what’s happening on our U.S. Army Garrison Japan installations.

To submit your information for publication, email full details (who, what, when, where, why and how, along with contact information) to


Holiday Mailing Deadlines

See below for the mail-by dates for various shipping options to ensure your holiday packages arrive in time!

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Photos With Santa

Santa is making a special appearance at Army Community Service on Dec. 9. Come on out and get a photo with Santa, as well as a delicious holiday cookie.

For more information, contact Lucinda Ward at 263-8091 or 263-4357.

DOD Online Tenant Satisfaction Survey

The DoD online tenant satisfaction survey is ongoing through Dec. 16, and you should have received an email invitation to participate. If you haven’t done so already, we are asking you to take a few minutes to fill out the completely confidential survey.

The survey is an important tool that allows your leadership to hear about your housing experience, and the feedback is used to improve housing conditions and resident services for current and future residents. Your health, safety and security remain our top priorities, and you deserve a safe and secure place to live.

Your participation in this survey will allow leadership to focus efforts to ensure you have that quality housing. Please let us know how we can improve the effectiveness of our housing management services and quality of our housing facilities.

If you have not received an email invitation or you have accidentally deleted it, please contact CEL & Associates directly via e-mail at

Please be sure to include your installation and address (house number) in the email. A document titled “How to Obtain a Survey” will be provided.

Gingerbread 2-Mile Fun Run

Camp Zama’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation will host the Gingerbread Run, a 2-mile fun run event, Dec. 21 at Sagamihara Family Housing Area, with activities beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the run beginning at 6 p.m.

Activities will include holiday music, an appearance from Santa Claus, and the handout of “ugly sweaters.

Participation is open to all ages, and anyone with access to the installation can sign up.

The registration fee is $20 per person and includes an “ugly sweater” (adult sizes only) while supplies last. Parents and guardians can sign up their entire family.

After the run, there will be drawings for two $100 AAFES gift cards.

The deadline to register is Dec. 21 at 6 p.m., which means you can sign up at the race site on the day of the event.

Call 263-4664 for more information.

Increase in Postage Prices

Effective Jan. 22, 2023, the U.S. Postal Service will increase the price of First Class Mail and Forever postage stamps.

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Time Change for Booking Space-Available Appointments

The BG Sams U.S. Army Health Clinic recently changed the time for space-available patients to call for scheduling a same-day appointment. The time has changed from 11 a.m. to 10 a.m., and calls can be made to DSN 262-4175 or 046-407-4175.

Additional information on space-available care can be found at

Pfizer Vaccine Available for Children Ages 5 to 11

MEDDAC-J now offers the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. Appointments are available on Thursdays from 9 to 10 a.m. To schedule an appointment, please use this website:

Guidance on Leashing Dogs While on Base

We are still receiving complaints about residents who are walking their pets without leashes on Camp Zama and the Sagamihara Family Housing Area.

Some people reported that unleashed dogs have acted aggressively toward other residents and pets.

It is mandatory that your pets are on leashes—or in a fenced yard—when outside of your quarters.

To the majority of residents who abide by the rules, thank you for being great neighbors! To those who choose to ignore the rules, please note that you could face disciplinary or administrative actions, and that violations may result in losing the privilege of living in government housing. Also, please be reminded to clean up your pet’s waste.

Community members, please report violations to the Housing Office at 263-3527 or the Military Police Station at 263-3002.

COVID-19 Testing No Longer Required for U.S. Entry

(From Japan to United States)

As of June 12, air passengers will not need to get tested and show a negative COVID-19 test result, nor show documentation of recovery from COVID-19, prior to boarding a flight to the United States, regardless of vaccination status or citizenship. Of note, the Centers for Disease Control’s order requiring proof of vaccination for noncitizen nonimmigrants to travel to the United States is still in effect.

(From United States to Japan)

Following an update in Japan travel regulations, members who received a negative molecular (i.e., RT-PCR, LAMP, TMA, NEAR) pre-departure COVID-19 test result are now exempt from entry testing and restriction-of-movement requirements regardless of vaccination status.

For specific questions, contact your chain of command or check the website here. 

Child and Youth Services Seeking Employees

Looking for a rewarding job with great salary and benefits, where you know you’re making a difference in today’s youth and children? That opportunity is here! Start your career with Army MWR, Child & Youth Services. Check out the opportunities available and apply now by accessing this link:

Army Recruiting Office Opens on Camp Zama

An Army recruiting office recently reopened on Camp Zama to better support potential recruits on mainland Japan following a decade-long hiatus. Anyone interested can speak to recruiter Sgt. 1st Class Jason Blowers. Blowers can be reached by email at The office is located near the Camp Zama laundromat.

Free COVID-19 Home-Test Kits Available at MEDDAC-Japan

MEDDAC-Japan is now offering free COVID-19 home-test kits. This is available only to our empaneled TRICARE beneficiaries and due to current supply we are limited to one kit per ID cardholder. You are able to pick up your home-test kits at our COVID testing location (blue and white tent in the rear of the clinic). There will be two separate lines, one for testing and one for home-kit pick up. Please ensure that you are in the appropriate line. If you do not have an ID card, you will not be issued a kit or tested. Children under the age of 10 can be validated with a parent’s ID card.

Guidance for Disposing COVID-19 Self-Test Kits

If you use a COVID-19 self-test kit at home, on- or off-post, please follow these directions for disposing of the kits following use. Please follow the same directions for both positive and negative test results.

Kits with needles cannot be disposed of at garbage collection points. Those kits must be returned to the store where you purchased them.

After use, place the kit in a plastic bag, tie it tightly to prevent direct contact with the kit, write the date on the outside of the bag, and store it for four days.

Only the items that are physically used during testing (test vials, swabs, gloves, test strips etc.) need to go through this process, the rest of the test kit packaging, test instructions and other packaging within the kits go into normal trash using standard processes.

If the test kit comes in contact with the outside of the plastic bag, double up the bag.

Wash your hands thoroughly under running water with soap after placing the waste in the plastic bag.

After four days have passed, you can place the bag containing the test kit with other garbage as regular garbage and put it out on the designated collection day.

COVID Testing

MEDDAC-Japan officials now provide COVID-19 testing daily.

Symptomatic: Walk-in symptomatic testing (no appointment necessary) is conducted from 8 to 9:30 a.m.

Close contact / asymptomatic: Personnel who are instructed by MEDDAC-J or a unit contact tracing team can report for testing from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

Pre-travel testing: Personnel requiring testing for travel (official or unofficial) can be tested from 10 to 11 a.m.

Take-home tests can also be picked up at the COVID testing location, which is located in the rear of BG Sams U.S. Army Health Clinic. For more information, call DSN 262-4175 (046-407-4175).