What the U.S. Military says:


The Government of Japan (GOJ) passed a requirement that motorcycles/mopeds over 250cc, and manufactured 1 Apr 01 or later, must pass an emission test.  Also, motorcycles/mopeds over 250cc, and manufactured 1 Jul 99 or later,  must meet brake standards. The following is a quick recap:

Emission standards:

* Motorcycles/mopeds over 250cc, and manufactured 1 Apr 01 or later must meet emission control standards. Owners must obtain a certificate after passing an emission test. We understand cost for the test is very expensive (est. $725.00). If a motorcycle/moped fails to meet the emission standard, cost to bring into compliance depends on the type/model and is very expensive.

* The only three emission test facilities in Japan are located in the Tokyo area (2) and Osaka (1). These facilities are approximately 400 and 350 miles from Misawa AB and Sasebo/ Iwakuni, respectively. There are no testing facilities on Okinawa.

* There is no mandatory emission test for motorcycles/mopeds less than 250cc, however the owner is responsible to ensure the vehicle meets emission standards.

Brake standards:

* Motorcycles/mopeds over 250cc and manufactured 1 Jul 99 or later must meet brake standards. One of the following must be produced:

- Manufacturer's certificate that states the vehicle meets the safety standards.

- A document (such as a label, plate, or casting panel) that certifies a foreign standard that meets the Japanese
standard has been met.

- A certificate of brake test result issued by either an official brake test authority or foreign brake test organization designated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

* If a motorcycle/moped fails to meet the brake standard, cost to bring into compliance depends on the type/ model and is, again, very expensive (est. $2,000 - $4,000). The only brake testing facility is located in the Tokyo area.

Motorcycles/mopeds cannot be driven to a testing facility unless they have a temporary registration (tag); prior to getting a tag, they must be insured. As you can surmise, considerable costs and inconvenience to the member will occur if motorcycles/mopeds described above are imported into mainland Japan. As stated above, there are no facilities (emission or brake) in Okinawa.

USFJ is currently coordinating with GOJ on confirmation or clarification to questions we sent them. We're also consulting with MTMC, and they will be contacting service components for comments. One option being considered is placing an embargo on importation into Japan (similar to POVs). An embargo would have to be staffed through OSD before being approved and posted in the PPCIG.

In the meantime, we do not recommend members import the above motorcycles/mopeds. Recommend TMOs/ITOs inform their personnel offices, sponsors to newcomers, etc. We're working this issue as a priority and will keep you advised of progress. Please contact me if you have questions.


Al Ouellette
DSN: 225-4714


More Information from a rider with this experience:


The emissions test requires a 380EJ customs form from TMO that is signed from the Tokyo (area) address that TMO has you send it to.  One of the longest waits is for it to be returned stamped with approval.

Once they get it back they need the title, specifications from the owner’s manual (and even then mine didn't have what they needed and another friend of mine found what I needed).

Then, if they are doing it on their own, they have to set up an appointment at the (emissions) testing place and I believe pre-pay for the test (and that is about $950). 

Once the testing dates are set up they have to get the bike down and back.  I don't know if you have ever driven to Yokota, but the gas and tolls cost me between $450-550 in my van last August.  Now if someone is pulling a trailer, that could be more.  The trailer is supposed to be JCI’ed too.

If they attempt to get temporary tags and drive it down, well... 8-12 hrs on a bike and would you really want to do that knowing it had to go for the test?

OK, with that said, the bike has to go through at least a 2 day test.  One for a hot check and one for a colder check.  If it passes, great.  If not, you get one more chance at it before you have to pay another $950...  Like
mine needed the fuel leaned out to pass and the mechanic adjusted it and passed the next time around.

Also, someone would have to find a place to stay down there and that would cost some money too.  I was figuring that it would have cost me around $1500-1800 anyway by the time I paid for expenses so the $2800 I paid to have someone do all the above for me was well worth it.  I gave him the paperwork and the bike and about a month later I got the bike back (the test date could be a few weeks away--you're at the mercy of the testing place).  He is a local mechanic here in Misawa and will come pick up and drop off the bike on a trailer.  I don't know about a price difference for different size bikes, but you can ask him that question.  I have an 800cc, so that is a good size bike to be tested.

So if you decide to bring your bike over here remember to keep it stock!



Paper work and fees:


  • The price of Emission Testing is 94,500 yen
  • Title of Bike or registration from the States
  • Manufacturer’s Brake Certificate
  • USFJ Fm 380E (Both Side Copy) (380EJ available from your TMO Office) with stamp of approval
  • VIN Number for Brake Certificate
  • Owners Manual
  • Horse Power rating and Torque


The Phone number for making the appointment is 042-544-1004 and the inspection center is 5~10 minutes from Yokota Air Base


If you wish to contact someone who deals with the testing center on a regular base please contact Mr. Suzuki at DSN 225-8915, fax 225-5196 at Yokota Air Base.


A close friend of mine, paid to have it done for her, you can pay a gentleman named Dante to do it for you. He just did a Kawasaki 800 classic 2004 for 280,000 yen, that included shipping the bike down to Tokyo & back, paying for his train fair, hotel, testing fee and his time. Remember this bike was stock and it passed with out trouble.


You can contact Mr. Dante at 0176-53-8221 if you wish to have him do the emission testing for you.  He is located in Misawa, Japan.



Author’s Note:


Don’t let all the above facts discourage you from riding in Japan.  From my perspective, this is one of the best places on the planet to ride.  I you don’t wind up bringing your bike here, you can easily find a bike for sale on base or downtown.  Expect to pay between the same price that you would for just getting your original bike emission tested.  Your choice.


In the meantime, I wish you luck and hope to see you on the road.  I’d like to express my thanks to J9 and Wiley for helping put all this information together.