No.192 (7/22/11)

Free Toll Road for Oirase Residents
-- Certificate of Misfortune for Oirase Town Foreign Residents in the Natural Disaster --

By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

Courtesy Information

Qualification: Regardless of the official foreigner registration, those who actually lived in Oirase town between March 11th through April 8, 2011 and had troubles due to the blackouts and scarcities.

Application Due: June 23, 2011 through June 19, 2012 (excluding weekends and holidays,) 8:30AM - 5:00 PM at Oirase Town Office 1F Lobby

How to Apply: *Your identification -- your driving license or ID such as military ID or Passport
*A proof of your residence between the above periods such as a copy of utility bills with your name and address shown
Application Form PDF (Japanese only) What I recommend is to have your landlord or realtor assist you on filling in the form and to make a request for a formal letter to show your residency and house rental payment during the time period. The town office also recognizes the March/ April invoice from the Tohoku electric company, which has the renter's name and address on the top. Thus, the process of certificate issuance can be smoother for you and the Oirase town officers.

If you are going to apply through a third party, please use a power of attorney form. PDF power of attorney form (Japanese only)

It is possible for you to travel from Misawa all the way to Kyushu for free now! This started on June 20, 2011 and will be valid for about a year. You need to get on or off within the valid exits in the Tohoku regions (Tohoku Free Zone in the map) to receive this benefit. If you use other excluded exits, you will be charged for additional fees. For example, starting from Misawa, on the Michinoku Toll Road, you can drive south on the Tohoku Express Way through Hanetsu to Niigaga Chuou and onto Hokuriku Express Way. And also through Meishin, Sanyou, Chuugoku, and Kyushu Express Way, at Tosu I.C., then go all the way to Ngasaki, Oita, or Kagoshima for farther southern destinations for the one big road trip. Once you get off the interchange, the benefit will be no longer valid for the rest of your driving routes when you try to get back on toll roads to continue your trip. On your return trip, you should use the exit where the free zone is set; for example, Niigata Chuo I.C. or all the way to Misawa Michinoku Road in order to travel for free. You can check some examples on the next page. The samples are based off of the news relations section from official websites. But they may be subject to change whenever the Japanese government changes the regulations under the current circumstances. The Insider will do more research and introduce useful service area information guides and possible destination guides in the near future.

How to Use:
You just need to show your identification and the certificate at a toll booth, and do not go through the ETC gate. This certificate is also valid for people who live in Oirase town and does not require the driving license. This means you can use the certificate as a passenger when your Misawa friend or any driver drives a vehicle with you in order to receive the benefit.

For Misawa foreign residents:
Misawa City requires for an official foreigner registration in order to receive this benefit. Unfortunately, the military service members on-base or living in Misawa city are excluded at this time.

News Relations (Japanese only):
Misawa City Office homepage
ABA news
Yomiuri News
Nexco East Japan

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