U.S. Navy eases nighttime drinking restrictions for personnel in Japan
The U.S. Navy on Wednesday eased restrictions on drinking by its personnel throughout Japan, allowing sailors to drink at home after 10 p.m..
However, Stars & Stripes newspaper reported that sailors are still prohibited from drinking alcohol outside their private residences or off-base between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., regardless of leave or liberty status. All service members in Japan also have to adhere to an 11 p.m.- 5 a.m. curfew imposed after an Okinawa woman was allegedly raped by two sailors in October, the paper reported.
The U.S. military has been under intense pressure to take action following a series of alcohol-related incidents involving U.S. service members in Okinawa, Yokohama, Sasebo and elsewhere in October and November.
Last month, U.S. forces on Okinawa began late-night patrols in Naha during curfew hours. The patrols include plain-clothes service members from all branches who walk the streets of the city between 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. Similar teams already patrol areas around major bases on the island.