The U.S. Navy has cracked its whip again on its sailors stationed in Japan by banning them from night drinking after a series of alcohol-induced incidents involving American soldiers enraged the Japanese people, Media reports from Tokyo said.
The new restriction is in addition to the 11 p.m.- 5 a.m. curfew for U.S. service-members in Japan, a measure introduced to curb crimes involving American Marines following the alleged rape of a Japanese woman by two U.S. sailors in the country's southernmost Okinawa island last month.
Officials from the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet said on Monday that the new order prohibited their sailors from drinking alcohol from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. even on off-duty, Japan's NHK broadcaster reported.
A number of crimes involving U.S. military personnel in Japan, including incursions into homes, were blamed on heavy drinking. Such incidents have earned the wrath of the Japanese people, forcing the Okinawa local assembly to adopt a resolution seeking downsizing of U.S military bases in the prefecture.
NHK quoted an official of the Seventh Fleet in Japan as saying that the U.S. Navy was determined to do all it could to maintain good relations with the Japanese people.
A staunch U.S. ally in the Asia-Pacific, Japan hosts a number of American military bases with more than 50,000 soldiers, nearly half of them in Okinawa which is home to two important U.S. Marine Airbases.
by RTT Staff Writer
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