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Yokota commander puts 6 bars off-limits

By CHARLIE REED | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 25, 2010

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Citing “serious” crime in the area, Yokota’s base commander on Tuesday banned troops, dependents and Defense Department civilians from six bars in the already restricted entertainment district near Yokota’s main gate.

Base officials would not disclose whether the crimes were recent or involved servicemembers or Americans connected to Yokota.

Now off limits are Baywalk Bar, Bonita’s Philippine Bar, Splash Shot Bar, Mommy Aby, Mini Kamayan and Shuka. All are in or near an area known as bar row — a garish collection of nightclubs, pubs, karaoke joints and restaurants not far from Yokota’s main gate.

The establishments “are not to be entered at all, regardless of the time of day or night,” Yokota commander Col. Otto Feather announced Tuesday in a memorandum to all base personnel.

In naming the specific establishments, the new rule goes a step beyond the standing bar-row curfew, which prohibits Yokota military and civilian personnel from being within one block of Akasen-dori between the hours of 1 and 6 a.m.

That rule was originally established by a previous Yokota commander in 2005 to curb assaults and other crimes involving military and DOD personnel.

Servicemembers caught in the off-limits bars any time or in the restricted entertainment district past curfew are subject to court martial. Civilians who break the rules could be barred from Yokota.

reedc@pstripes.osd.mil

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