U.S. Marine Corps officials stationed in Japan have announced a crackdown on troops’ curfews, liberty and alcohol use – to show solidarity with their host country, following crimes allegedly committed by a Marine vet and an American sailor.
The off-base restrictions are going into effect for one-month – for all Okinawa-based service members – as a result of two high-profile cases that happened just months apart.
Marine vet Kenneth Gadson, who works at the U.S. Kadena Air Base, admitted to raping and killing a 20-year-old Okinawan woman who disappeared in late April. Seaman Apprentice Justin Castellanos, a corpsman assigned to Camp Schwab, has pled guilty to raping an ‘intoxicated Japanese woman’ at a hotel in mid-March.
Marine Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, said the restrictions are not meant to be a punishment, but rather a way to “reaffirm our responsibilities as residents of Okinawa while demonstrating our deepest sympathies for the victims and their families.”
However, officials also said this could easily turn into a punishment if troops don’t take it seriously.
In an email obtained by Military Times, a senior enlisted Marine told his troops: “… if we experience a bunch of jackassery out in town, this could quickly change to a punishment, and all need to understand that and take personal responsibility.”
The crackdown – which went into effect today- will remain in effect until June 24. “Troops who live on base will not be allowed to drink alcohol when they’re off base. And those who live off base will be permitted to drink only while in their homes or on base,” the Marine Corps Times reported.
Troops eating out at restaurants may not drink alcohol with their meals and all local clubs and bars are off-limits. They must be back in their residences by Midnight. There are no hotel-room parties allowed, and all off-base celebrations are banned as well.
Any vehicles going on and off military installations between Midnight and 5 am will be ‘subject to sobriety checks’, according to the Times article.
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