U.S. Navy Sailors Barred From Drinking Alcohol In Japan

The ban comes after a sailor was arrested Sunday for allegedly driving drunk and crashing into two cars.

The U.S. Navy on Monday barred all 18,600 sailors stationed in Japan from drinking alcohol and limited their off-base freedoms following "alcohol-related incidents detrimental to the U.S.-Japan Alliance."

"Effective immediately, sailors are prohibited from drinking alcohol, on and off base," a statement from the 7th Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Japan read. "Additionally, all off-base liberty will be curtailed."

Sailors who live off-base will be allowed to essential travel such as child-care drop-off and pickup, and going to the grocery store, gas station, and gym.

"These measures are not taken lightly," Rear Adm. Matthew Carter, CNFJ, said in a statement. "For decades, we have enjoyed a strong relationship with the people of Japan. It is imperative that each Sailor understand how our actions affect that relationship, and the U.S.-Japan Alliance as a whole."

The ban comes after Petty Officer 2nd Class Aimee Mejia, 21, was arrested Sunday in Japan's Okinawa Island for driving the wrong way on a freeway and crashing into two vehicles, according to CNN.

Last month, a contractor at a U.S. base in Okinawa was arrested in connection with the death of a 20-year-old woman.

The travel limitation will remain in effect until face-to-face training has taken place. The ban on alcohol will remain in effect indefinitely, until commanders are "comfortable that all personnel understand the impact of responsible behavior in the U.S.-Japan Alliance and the United States' ability to provide security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific."

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