Military alcohol restrictions modified on Okinawa

 A change to military policy once again permits off-base drinking by service men and women, but not always and not everywhere.

The new rules are now in effect for a week, after six months of no off-base drinking, and reaction is mixed.   The new rules permit U.S. military personnel to have a maximum of two cans of beer, or the matching amount of other alcoholic beverages, at restaurants and izakayas, where food is serviced, between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. daily.  Service members are still prohibited from consuming alcohol in bars.

Bar owners aren’t happy about the inequity, and for that matter, neither is the Okinawa Prefectural Government.  The prefecture says it questions the logic of easing the off-base drinking ban, noting that both accidents and alcohol-related incidents are continuing to happen here.    The chief of Governor Hirokazu Nakaima’s office, Susumu Matayoshi, is questioning if the off-base drinking ban really has been effective.

The Marine Corps says the six-month ban has been effective, and has curbed incidents by military personnel.  The Marines say easing the no-drinking rule is a plus for the majority of troops who obey the laws, and who were complaining they were being punished for the illicit behavior of a small minority.

Matayoshi is calling for more drastic preventive measures to be put into place, rather than slacking off on the drinking policies.  He disagrees with the Marine Corps, pointing out that the situation really hasn’t gotten better since the no-drinking policy was implemented last December.  He says drunk driving incidents and acts of home invasion by drunken GI’s continue.

The Command initiated the off-base drinking ban in December 2012, a few weeks after the October rape of an Okinawa woman by two U.S. Navy sailors visiting Okinawa in non-duty status fueled heavy criticism by local residents.

  • John Davis

    There is only one way to get NO alcohol related accidents and incidents.

    Move the US bases OFF Okinawa.

    There is no earthly reason for them to be here. They take up much needed space and however much the PR guys try to make China and NK look like hostile neighbours, they aren’t.

    • seventhletter

      How about you leave your the foreigner John Davis. There is no earthly reason you should be on Okinawa as well.

      • jack

        lol, and people are already getting DUI’s…. I wouldn’t disagree with John Davis though, move them to a US territory (like guam or MAINLAND JAPAN) instead of continue the occupation, and I wouldn’t hate on people who share the vision of a free ryukyu

      • John Davis

        “How about you leave your the foreigner John Davis”

        I’m sorry, but I can’t understand this sentence. What are you trying to say?

        • seventhletter

          Last time I checked there were no Uchinanchu’s named Davis. So you can leave with the bases. I know you can’t understand the sentence. It wasn’t written in crayon or fingerpaint. The media your use to using.

          • John Davis

            Seventhletter-san, you’re doing it again.

            I got the first sentence. I wonder where you checked to find out whether there were any Uchinanchu’s with the name of Davis. But we’ll let that go. You are quite right in that I am not a native of Ryukyu, nor am I a Naicha. Perhaps you could call me a “Gaicha.”

            I also got the next sentence, but regret that I cannot comply with your offer as I have absolutely NO connection with any bases anywhere. Then you tell me that you know I can’t understand the sentence, but don’t offer any explanation. You state that it wasn’t written in either crayon or fingerpaint. Undeniably true, but I fail to see the relevance.

            However, Comrade Seventhletter-san, it was the last sentence that threw me.

            “The media your use to using.”

            What does this mean? Is it in English?

          • seventhletter

            You call this anti-base/military propaganda. Ryukyu wants its xenoless state. Meaning if you are not of Ryukyu blood then you can leave with your military. Just because you can speak Japanese doesn’t mean a thing. This is the Ryukyu we don’t speak Yamatoguchi. Take your ass to mainland.

            I am not your comrade. For a person who is an American and can’t understand the language. HA! You want your definition of Media? Your too stupid you think of news. Media is a reference of form. I addressed it as a form of writing. Hence your true level of state of mind. Finger paints and crayons are media used by adolescent.

            Gaicha give me a break. You try to raise yourself above others with that term. Your the same as the people you point a finger at and ostracized.

            Is that enough english for you? Maybe you do need to get your ass back to where every you came from. Your losing your identity. One thing is clear your not from Okinawa and not Uchinanchu so that means you don’t belong here.

          • Larry Muse

            well seventhletter if the American GI had not been there, you may not have been born….just saying!!!

          • seventhletter

            Let me give you an update on power. Okinawa has the final approval for any U.S. installations that succeeds Japan’s central government. Not America or Japan. ” American GI had not been there, you may not have been born….just saying” Fail. I am Okinawan so that is irrelevant to think because “American GI.” was here had something to do with my birth HA! America can’t take credit for that . The only reason your alive is because of a condom failing. I am just saying

  • BlahJU

    Interesting. I was driving around Koza around midnight about a week ago and thought the restrictions had been lifted given the number of people out.

  • jack

    lol, and people are already getting caught with DUI’s

  • Truth

    You are all idiots. The Okinawans drive drunk daily and the US soldiers make up less than 1% of all arests on okinawa this year. Grow up and take responsibility for yourselves and stop pointing the finger. The news wont say it, but Japanese on Japanese rape is on the rise since americans are out of bars off base. Look at the facts, not the agenda of the media.

  • tonyp385

    The best thing to do is to revise the sofa. If a person commits a crime of base in Japan civilian territory let them have to follow Japanese law and be punished accordingly. Also there should be no curfew. Best thing just use the boxes and make military have to sign into a book and system in which when they go off base they are going into Japan as a Japanese teritory and must follow those laws. I am sure those who know the difference will understand and follow it and does who will still break it will. But at least they can be punished under the country they are in. It will help to discipline more. And its just like when you visit another country you must follow thir laws or get punished so Japan should just do the sam. Just my opinion.

  • Mike Lee

    My name is Mike Lee and I am proud to be an American, my lovely wife is Okinawan.
    I have been Okinawa more than 23 years, long enough to learn the prejudice that many of the Okinawan & Japanese people old & young have against the Americans.

    To be quite honest I don’t blame them. Prejudice or NOT for the more mature and intelligent Okinawan people who I have grown to Love they understand like I understand that NOT all people are bad no matter the race.

    My Friends think I am weird because I choose a Japanese/Okinawan over an American because I am American and I enjoy being around different cultures. Different or not I enjoy.

    Like everything is Americans fault and Okinawan people do no wrong! If you think Americans are the only ones committing crimes in Okinawa then you are blind.

    Does the American government need so many bases Okinawa?
    My Opinion, absolutely not.

    Why does the American government have so many bases?

    Why don’t people go back and learn the History as far back as when the Japan Main Land thought they were so intelligent to go BOMB the Hell out of the American Navy Ships at Pearl Harbor.

    Mainland Japan is the One who drug the Okinawan into this WAR.
    Mainland Japan is the one who is running Okinawa right now.
    Ask Mainland Government why they allow so many American Bases.
    They might tell you that because they don’t want them all on Mainland.
    They also might tell you that Americans won the WAR.

    Why is the PAY so Low in Okinawa? Did you ever ask yourself that question?
    Why do you pay so MUCH in JAPAN for so LITTLE? Did you ever ask yourself that question?
    Why is it so difficult to accomplish an easy task in Japan? Did you ever ask yourself that?
    Why do we pay road tax every year but Okinawans road are some of the worst in the world?
    Why are Trash cans so hard to find in public places?
    Why is there three prices for many things I.E. Mainland, American & Okinawan price. “Dishonest”
    Why so many Japanese companies’ are prices 75% higher than other countries? “Fraud”
    Why do drivers in Okinawan do not have to follow the rules?
    Why is it acceptable for Okinawan drivers to drink and drive?
    Why do 3 cars going the same direction in a 3 lane road all go the same speed?
    What does Passing lane and common courteous mean to you?

    So to make a long long story Short. Even you close all the bases and the Americans go HOME. You will still have the same problems that you have now.

    If all military Americans went home and all 90% of the Okinawan base employees on all the 13 BASES lost their jobs and were unemployed with no means to support their family. What then?
    Do people honestly not know how much money Americans bring into Okinawans economy.

    All those military Americans that you dislike so much are all volunteers for their Country to make a difference in this WORLD that you and I live in. They are the ones who shed their BLOOD and give their lives so that United States & Japan can live in peace.

    Because of those AMERICANS, your children don’t have to join the military and DIE for your own country.

    Many of the people you hear complaining in today’s society have never done anything for their country except cry & complain.

    Americans have done more GOOD in the World than Bad and there is no other country who has committed to WORLD Peace like we have.

    Good or bad we say it like it is. We know we are not perfect and we make mistakes.

    FACT of the matter is the Americans are ONE of the STRONGEST NATIONS on this PLANET.

    Get use to us because we are here to STAY.

    Instead of wasting your life’s hating, why don’t you go make an international friend and learn how to live among one another in PEACE?

    Open your HEART & MIND.

    Ignorance is a Disease and spreads like cancer. Think about that.

    God Bless and Apologize for my blunt Opinion!

    World Peace & Same World Driving Laws Please!

    • Larry Muse

      hey Mike where are you living on Okinawa??? I have a friend that I think married a Okinawan girl and probably, as you, is living on the Island. Do you Americans that did this hook up and socialize together. We were stationed on Camp McTureous na his wife would have been from Kawasaki

      • Mike Lee

        Sorry not me!

    • Mike Lee

      I love Okinawa and wish many things would improve.
      Trust me i don’t care who you are just wish people in society could respect one another & this country.

  • nohope4canada

    Americans (especially military) should stay in America and stop
    screwing up the rest of the world like they already have done to their
    own country.

    • jj

      if japan stayed out of america, you wouldn’t have this problem now, would you? so just suffer thru it. Cause it ain’t changing anytime soon, at least until Okinawa can give unbiased opinions. If there is one thing you should learn about americans. You dont get your way by lying or bullying. Thats our job. hahah

  • nohope4canada

    The SOFA ‘Agreement’ is a farce. Basically it’s a license for American denial. Have you ever heard of any American grunt who was caught committing a crime on Okinawa actually admit that he/she was guilty? Deny everything must be a part of the oath that all service men and women take.

23:31 23 Jul , 2024