Under a modified guest policy at U.S. Army installations in Japan, visitors soon will have to turn in their identification cards to gate guards in exchange for a pass while on post.

In addition, a long-standing rule that prohibits overnight guests in bachelor quarters will be enforced, according to U.S. Army Garrison-Japan commander, Col. Garland Williams.

Residents at Army bases in Japan were told of the changes at gate entrances this week and told the rules were to go into effect Friday.

The changes were prompted by soldiers not signing guests out, as dictated in base access rules implemented last year.

“People were not signing off their visitors,” Williams wrote in response to a Stars and Stripes query. “Also visitors were spending the night, on post, against posted [regulations].”

The access rules required sponsors to sign visitors in and out at the same gate. Visitors were required to show approved identification: a driver’s license or passport for Japanese residents or a passport or alien registration card for other nationalities.

Williams wrote that the prohibition on overnight guests isn’t new. However, it now will be enforced. Regulations require that guests exit the base by midnight on weekdays and by 1 a.m. on weekends.

Sponsors still will be able to obtain a guest pass for visitors such as family coming from the United States, with prior written approval.

People who violate the new rule could lose their ability to host guests in the future.

At Army lodging facilities, including Hardy Barracks, a popular downtown Tokyo lodging location with space-available rooms for personnel from all services, visitors who are registered as guests with the lodging office in advance still will be allowed on post anytime, including overnight.

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