Support for members of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force and people who served in Japan

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This page provides information for members who served in Japan between 16 August 1945 and 30 January 1946, as well as members of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force who served in Japan between 31 January 1946 and 28 April 1952.

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What were the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces?

The British Commonwealth Occupation Forces (BCOF) were formed after the formal surrender of Japan and included personnel from the armed forces of Australia, New Zealand, India and the United Kingdom. BCOF’s primary role was to ensure that the terms of the unconditional surrender of Japan were met. Service for Australian personnel extended from 13 February 1946 to 28 April 1952 (both dates included).

If you served in Japan between 16 August 1945 and 30 January 1946 or was a member of the BCOF who served in Japan between 31 January 1946 and 28 April 1952, you may be eligible to claim for the following benefits with DVA:

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Veteran Gold Card

The 2017-18 Budget included a measure to provide the Veteran Gold Card to all Australian participants in the British nuclear tests in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s (including certain civilians within the test areas) and to Australians who were part of the BCOF in Japan after the Second World War.

More information about the British nuclear tests can be found at Support for civilians and participants in the British Nuclear Tests.

Treatment is provided under the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests and British Commonwealth Occupation Force (Treatment) Act 2006.

For Veteran Gold Card holders, DVA pays for treatment in Australia for any medical condition, regardless of whether or not related to your service in the occupation of Japan, when obtained from a healthcare provider who agrees to treat you under DVA health care arrangements.

Who is Eligible

Australian veterans who served in Japan between 16 August 1945 and 30 January 1946 are eligible for the Veteran Gold Card. The BCOF was created on 31 January 1946 and ceased to exist on 28 April 1952.

Any Australian veteran who served in Japan as part of BCOF is eligible for the Veteran Gold Card. However, service in Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Forces Korea is not included, regardless of the dates of service.

How do you apply?

If you served with the Australian contingent of the BCOF in Japan after the end of the Second World War, please complete DVA form D9056.

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Compensation under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986

Former members of the Australian Defence Force with any condition which is accepted under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) as being related to their participation in the British Nuclear Test (BNT) program in Australia or to their service in the BCOF are eligible for compensation under the VEA.

War widow(er)s of former members of the Australian Defence Force whose death is accepted under the VEA as related to their service are also eligible. Claims will be determined under the more generous ‘reasonable hypothesis’ standard of proof.

For more information, please refer to Apply for the Disability Compensation Payment under the VEA and Pension for orphans and war widowed partners.

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