U.S. Navy relaxes night booze ban

Kyodo

The U.S. Navy has eased its nighttime ban on sailors drinking alcohol outside their homes in Japan, a measure imposed in response to a series of alleged criminal offences involving American military personnel, naval officials announced.

The order issued in November prohibiting drinking between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. was relaxed Dec. 26 by the U.S. Navy because “we felt our sailors had a clear understanding of the reasons for the prohibition and of the responsibility for maintaining good order and discipline,” an official at the U.S. naval base in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, said Friday.

However, the ban on personnel consuming alcohol outside their homes — other than at facilities on U.S. bases — from midnight through 6 a.m. on weekdays and from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. on weekends and national holidays — will remain in place, the official said.

The additional 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for all U.S. service members in Japan, which was introduced last October following the alleged rape of a woman by two U.S. sailors in the city of Okinawa, also remains in effect, the official added.