U.S. Navy eases its ban on nighttime drinking

The U.S. Navy has eased its nighttime ban on sailors drinking alcohol outside their homes in Japan, a measure that was imposed a few months ago in response to a string of alleged criminal offenses involving American service personnel.

Navy officials in Sasebo say the order issued in November that prohibited drinking between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. was relaxed December 26th by the 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.”  The official says the changes will be monitored.

The ban on personnel consuming alcohol outside their homes, other than at facilities located on U.S. military bases and installations, from midnight to 6 a.m. on weekdays, and from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. on weekends and national holidays, will remain in effect.  The Sasebo official says the 11 p.m. ~ 5 a.m. curfew introduced last October following the alleged rape of a woman by two U.S. sailors also remains in effect.