We made it.
11 hours on the first plane, made it through customs & immigration no problem. The cats were approved for immediate release (no quarantine necessary!). Got on the second plane. Two hours later, we landed, and then a few hours after that we made it to Sasebo.
Now I need a nap, then check on the kitties at the kennel (pets aren't allowed at the Navy Lodge), then sleep some more before the exam tomorrow morning.