Japanese shop designated off-limits for Marines
January 13, 2008
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The commander of Marines in Japan has placed a Chatan business off-limits to all Marine Corps personnel in Japan under the Status of Forces Agreement.
The order against a business called The Ground, a “head shop” that allegedly sells tobacco and drug paraphernalia, comes three months after the commander of the 19th Wing on Kadena Air Base placed the business off-limits for all Air Force personnel in Japan.
The off-limits order was announced Friday and affects all Marine military and civilian personnel, including contractors and their dependents.
The owner of the business could not be reached for comment.
The off-limits orders came after military officials received information the business was selling liquids containing methalone to SOFA-status personnel. Methalone is a synthetic hypnotic similar to Ecstasy and is known by the street names “ease,” “explosion” and “bk-MDMA.”
“The Ground Tobacco Shop’s activities constitute a threat to the health, safety and welfare of our SOFA personnel,” said 1st Lt. Garron Garn, a spokesman for Marine Corps Bases Japan.
Military personnel violating the order can be punished under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Civilians are subject to adverse administrative action that could include being barred from all U.S. military bases in Japan.