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US Military in Japan Banned From Drinking Alcohol

US Military in Japan Banned From Drinking Alcohol

Photo taken in May 2017 shows a densely populated downtown area of Ginowan in Okinawa Prefecture, with U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the background. (Kyodo via AP Images)

By    |   Monday, 20 November 2017 11:29 AM

U.S. military members in Japan have been banned from drinking alcohol and have been restricted to base or their homes.

This follows an incident in which 21-year-old marine, Nicholas James-McLean, was arrested on suspicion of negligent driving after a fatal crash that resulted in the death of 61-year-old Hidemasa Taira on Sunday on Okinawa, The Associated Press reported.

Kazuhiko Miyagi of the Okinawa police said per U.S. government-funded news source, Voice of America, that James-McLean had an alcohol level three times the legal limit at the time of the crash.

U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) commander Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez ordered the ban, which came into effect hours later, further prohibiting all U.S. service members on Japan's mainland from consuming or purchasing alcohol on and off base, Stars and Stripes reported.

"The vast majority of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and civilians in Japan serve honorably and make great contributions to the defense of Japan," USFJ said in a statement.

"When our service members fail to live up to the high standards we set for them, it damages the bonds between bases and local communities and makes it harder for us to accomplish our mission. We are committed to being good neighbors with our host communities and we are thankful for the support we receive from them every day."

USFJ has also instructed all commanders across Japan to "immediately lead mandatory training to address responsible alcohol use, risk management and acceptable behaviour."

This was mandatory to all military members and U.S. government civilians in Japan.

Service members on mainland Japan reacted to the ban.

"Drinking is a regular part of my off-duty life, so that's going to change my weekend plans," said Staff Sgt. Ian Rose, according to Stars and Stripes. "I guess I'll have to figure out something else to do."

Petty Officer 2nd Class Brittany Buhmman, added, "We're in a gorgeous country that people need to take some time and experience sober. If liberty isn't restricted, there are so many things [service members] can go out and do."

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U.S. military members in Japan have been banned from drinking alcohol and have been restricted to base or their homes.
us, military, japan, banned, alcohol
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2017-29-20
Monday, 20 November 2017 11:29 AM
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