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.