The U.S. Navy on Monday toughened restrictions on drinking by its personnel throughout Japan.
A U.S. Naval Forces spokesman said that active-duty sailors are prohibited from drinking alcohol from 10 p.m.- 8 a.m., even in their homes, regardless of leave or liberty status, Stars & Stripes newspaper reported. The latest measure is in addition to a nationwide curfew that is in effect from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m.
However, the Navy did not say how it intends to enforce the new rule, nor what the penalties will be for offenders.
The U.S. military is under intense pressure to take action following a series of alcohol-related incidents involving U.S. servicemembers in Okinawa, Yokohama, Sasebo and elsewhere.
Stars & Stripes also reported that the new restrictions stipulate that sailors must be on-base or in off-base quarters for the curfew hours, and that all sailors on leave or in transit must be in a hotel pre-approved by their chain of command.
U.S. forces on Okinawa last week 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.© Japan Today