US Navy eases restriction on late-night drinking for personnel in Japan
The U.S. 7th Fleet has partially lifted its late-night drinking ban imposed on sailors to reduce instances of misconduct by its military personnel in Japan, U.S. Navy sources have said.
The fleet's sailors are now allowed to drink when at home, but other members of the U.S. Navy stationed in Japan remain subject to the ban, the sources said.
On October 19, the U.S. military imposed an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on all service members in Japan following the alleged rape of a local woman in Okinawa Prefecture by two U.S. sailors, the Japan Times reports.
According to the report, because criminal incidents involving U.S. military personnel continued despite the curfew, the headquarters of U.S. Naval Forces in Japan and the U.S. 7th Fleet issued an order in late November for members not to drink from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Members of the fleet, whose area of responsibility stretches from the Western Pacific to the Indian Ocean, live in Japan, the report said.
The fleet's command ship, the USS Blue Ridge, is stationed at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka.
The fleet has decided to partially lift the ban because it has experienced few problems stemming from drinking, the sources said.