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Party Bus slapped off limits by USMC

Date Posted: 2008-12-25

The ‘Party Bus’ is still running, but US Marine Corps personnel are forbidden to climb aboard.

The decision by Marine Corps Bases Japan to restrict its personnel from using the ‘Party Bus’ operated by Parties international was made in a published bulletin that said company-sponsored events “constitute a threat to the health, safety and welfare” of American personnel. The ‘Party Bus’ chauffeurs military personnel to and from events on the local economy, then returns them to bases at the end of the evening.

Parties International says its activities are totally above board, providing transportation to only persons who meet Japan’s legal drinking age of 20. The company says it doesn’t permit individuals under 20 to use its services. It arranges and coordinates transportation to nightclubs and bars around Okinawa.

The Marine Corps says the order applies to all Marines, Defense Department civilians, and SOFA-status contractors employed by the Marine Corps, or living on any Marine Base in the country. A Marine Corps spokesman says the order also applies to all Marine Corps dependents and Marines assigned on temporary duty.

A spokesman at Kadena Air Base says the Air Force has not taken any actions to restrict Parties International from providing services to its personnel.

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