In addition to the U.S. Postal Service's temporary price increase (i.e., in effect from October 18, 2020 until December 27, 2020) on Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select, and Parcel Return Service parcels, Japan Post plans on raising its rates on small package shipments to the United States. For those of us who purchase N-Scale items from Japan, from April 1, 2021, it will cost more to receive small packages from Japan. Because of a substantial rise in postage rates for International ePacket, International ePacket Light, Air-Small Packet, SAL Small Packet, and Surface Small Packet shipments to the United States and its overseas territories, the new Zone 4 was created. The following information was published on the Japan Post Partial Revision of International Postage Rates page: Why is it necessary to revise international postage rates? International postage rates include a delivery charge that is paid by the (postal service? postal operator?) of the sender’s country to that of the recipient’s country. Previously, the delivery charge had been set rather low by the UPU, considering the situation of developing countries. However, at the Extraordinary Congress of the UPU in 2019, the convention provision governing the delivery charge was amended with the result that the charge increased significantly. It is necessary to revise some international postage rates so as to properly reflect this increase in the delivery charge paid to other countries. Why is the United States defined as a new postage rate zone (Zone 4)? Because the delivery charges of the United States will increase much more than those of other countries. Therefore, we will separate the postage rates for items to the U.S. from the current Zone 2 and define Zone 4 as a new postage rate zone. In addition, the U.S.'s external territories such as Guam and Saipan will have the same delivery charges so these territories will be integrated into Zone 4.