Below, a recent situation I faced, which encouraged me to send an e-mail out to all of the American staff at NIS
My fellow Americans,
Imagine my shock when I showed up to the Japan Post this week to mail a package, only to find that the US has placed an air shipping restriction* on all parcels to the US. My limited language capabilities prevented me from finding out why, for how long the ban will remain, or which other countries might fall under the same restriction (my first thought - 'why Japan?') from doing the same. And, although I argued (whined!), "Buuuuuuut, it's Christmas!?!", the nice ladies behind the counter didn't seem to care.
Long story short, at this time, any packages weighing more than 453 grams are not permitted to be shipped from here to there (whether it's Christmas or not).
Wishing you the most festive of Christmas seasons anyway,
*shipping by sea, although costly, is still allowed, although travel time is up to 20 days.
I found the following online after doing a bit more looking in to the situation (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20101117a5.html), which helped me understand.
Regardless, now it seems that my idea of just taking everyone out for dinner next summer (in lieu of prezzy buying for all) was a fortuitous one...