Limited liberty is not the solution

Ventura, California

Regarding the Nov. 4 article “Crimes linked to U.S. forces spur calls for (Status of Forces Agreement) revision“: Here’s a novel idea — put all establishments that serve alcohol off limits to U.S. service personnel as well as civilian employees of the U.S. government.

Any U.S. personnel found in an establishment serving alcohol would be subject to apprehension by either military police or Japanese law enforcement officers. Any establishment selling alcoholic beverages to U.S. personnel would be subject to having their license to sell alcohol canceled. Same for stores selling bottled alcoholic beverages. They should be off limits to U.S. service personnel and civilian employees of the military.

The services could continue to sell alcohol to U.S. service personnel, but gate guards would be strictly instructed to prevent anyone suspected of consuming alcohol from leaving the base, including officer-grade military and civilians.

“Cinderella liberty” (leave given to military personnel for a specified time, usually from morning to midnight) does not solve the problems that alcohol consumption creates, as evidenced by the most recent incident.

But I think Okinawans would be most unhappy if they couldn’t sell alcohol to U.S. service personnel just as they would be most unhappy if they found that suddenly all U.S. service personnel and civilian employees were withdrawn from that island.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

charles voigtsberger