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U.S. military lifts Gate Two St, Nakanomachi curfew

Date Posted: 1999-10-08

Night life along Gate Two Street area in Okinawa City will change quite dramatically from this weekend, with news the U.S. military will lift the curfew it first imposed in October 1995 to reduce incidents by military personnel and enforce public safety.

Okinawa Area Coordinator Lt. Gen. Earl B. Hailston said in a written statement the curfew has achieved its original goal of decreasing serious incidents of misconduct by service members in the Gate Two Street area.

The results, however, caused by the curfew were not always positive ones. The curfew hours were in force from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. seven days a week, which in effect reduced serious incidents but left businesses in the area hard hit financially.

From concerns over the effects on the local economy and a negative public image it promoted for visitors to the area, moves to end the curfew took place during meetings between the Okinawa City Office and the U.S. military over the year. However, because of disagreements over conditions for the cancellation, the curfew had remained unchanged and in force for the past four years.

When contacted by phone Monday, an official from the Okinawa City Office refused to comment on the lifting of the curfew, stating he had not received any official notification from the U.S. military over the matter. One of the night clubs in the off-limits area was contacted, but also refused to comment.

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