YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) – Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet (C7F) and Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ) have lifted the off-base liberty curtailment put in place June 6 while current restrictions on alcohol consumption will remain in place for all Sailors in Japan.
Effective immediately, Sailors are permitted to leave base after completion of their duties under the parameters of the U.S. Forces Japan liberty policy. However, Sailors are prohibited from drinking alcohol, both on and off base.
The alcohol restriction will remain in effect until C7F and CNFJ are comfortable that commands have conducted training, which deglamorizes the use of alcohol, and that all personnel fully understand their responsibilities as ambassadors of the United States, according to Rear Adm. Matthew Carter, CNFJ commander. Navy civilian employees, contractors and family members are also being asked to comply with the spirit of the order and refrain from consuming alcohol as an act of solidarity with their uniformed counterparts.
The liberty curtailment was lifted after each command in Japan reported that all Sailors had received face-to-face training from commanding officers, executive officers and command master chiefs. Additionally, Carter and Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, C7F commander, conducted all-hands calls with Sailors at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Naval Air Facility Atsugi and Fleet Activities Okinawa to stress the importance of proactive leadership throughout the force.
“Before any act of misconduct happens, anyone watching such events unfold has the power and responsibility to step in to keep something bad from happening,” Carter said. He added that in many of the recent cases of misconduct in Japan, acts could have been stopped if other Sailors had intervened.
“I am entrusting all of you moving forward to take care of each other because it is the right thing to do,” Carter told Sailors.
In a message to Sailors in Japan, C7F/CNFJ outlined a temporary liberty system. Every Sailor must submit to their chain of command a detailed liberty plan which accounts for all off-duty hours spent off base.
“Our intent here continues to be to safeguard the vital relationship we have with Japan,” said Aucoin. “We need to be proactive in identifying at-risk personnel, and take care of each other before negative events occur. We will not allow alcohol-related incidents to degrade our force and impact our ability to defend Japan and provide security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.”