U.S. Navy sailors in Japan can say goodbye to their sake.
Imbibing will be banned both on and off base, and sailors will no longer be able to freely leave their bases. Leaving base grounds will be allowed only for running necessary errands, or commuting from an off-base home.
"These measures are not taken lightly," said Rear Adm. Matthew Carter. "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."
Mejia’s vehicle allegedly crossed the center line on a freeway on the island of Okinawa before striking two other vehicles. She was not injured in the crash, but two people in the other cars were.
The U.S. military presence in Japan is under scrutiny after a series of incidents involving American soldiers on the islands, with Navy personnel already under curfew in connection with the arrest of a former Marine. He was working as a civilian contractor on a base and was arrested in connection with the death of a Japanese women.
Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga said such measures taken by the Navy to keep an eye on soldiers’ behavior were not strict enough.
"There needs to be a fundamental resolution," Onaga said.
The no drinking edict will remain in place until the Navy feels personnel understand “responsible behavior.”