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Off Limits ban lifted for three Okinawa City clubs

Date Posted: 2004-07-22

The military’s Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board thinks three Okinawa City clubs have made appropriate corrections to their complaints.

The prohibition on military personnel patronizing the clubs was ended Monday as the Off Limits was lifted.

The off limits status against the three Clubs – Pyramid, Manhattan and Else – has been in effect since April 9th, when military authorities ended efforts to get the clubs’ owner to make operational and security changes they thought essential. The military complaints centered on inadequate security, inadequate ID checks to curb underage drinking, excessive drinking and open drinks charges, fights, and employment of SOFA status personnel as bouncers.

Initially, nine clubs were identified early this year as in non-compliance with military rules. Six clubs adjusted their operations to conform to the military requests, while the owner of Pyramid, Manhattan and Else did not. After repeated warnings, the clubs were placed off limits to all military personnel and others covered by the Status of Forces agreement.

The key charges were allowing underage patrons to drink, failing to allow U.S. military police to enter the three clubs, and frequent fights both in and outside the clubs.

Okinawa City Mayor Masakazu Nakasone expressed relief at the military’s change of heart. “The economic influence of the ban was significant,” he said, “and we had been asking for the military’s assistance in correcting the matter as soon as possible.

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