Policy for Yokota's Bar Row Clarified
April 2, 2008
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Nearly three years since the curfew restricting access to the local entertainment district known as Bar Row was put in place, Yokota base commander Col. Jeff Newell released a new policy letter clarifying what’s off-limits.
The curfew began in 2005 after several incidents and fights involving base personnel took place in the district. On May 9, 2005, the base commander at the time, Col. Mark Schissler, issued the order banning all Yokota personnel from entering Bar Row between 1 and 6 a.m.
The new policy letter released Friday said the 1 to 6 a.m. restriction in the area within one block of Akasen-dori between Yokota and Fussa Station is still in effect. However, it also lists certain establishments within the area to which the curfew specifically applies.
The policy applies to all military personnel and all family members, Department of Defense civilians and DOD contractors under the Status of Forces Agreement.
The new policy isn’t any stricter than the previous one, base spokeswoman Master Sgt. Julie A. Briggs said, adding that the establishments listed in the policy letter are only off-limits during the 1 to 6 a.m. curfew period.
“Adding the names of establishments adds clarification to what area the base commander is referring to,” she said. The update provides “a better frame of reference for people when we say Bar Row.”
Briggs said the revision was not a result of any specific incident and that the goal of the policy is to look out for the safety and well-being of Yokota personnel.
“We just want to let folks know what areas are of concern,” she said.
In an interview with Stars and Stripes last month, Newell said the potential tightening of restrictions on Bar Row is not out of the question and that he had already met with the Fussa City mayor to discuss such an action.
“Frankly, I’m an incident away from tightening restrictions,” he said.
Bars Off Limits
The revised Bar Row restricted hours policy released on Friday specifically mentions the following 16 bars in the area considered off-limits during the 1 to 6 a.m. curfew.
Barracks Disco and BarBeBe’s Sexy BarDisco Latin AmericaBoom BoomClub KingsBonitaMini KamayanBorderlessJoker BarBaywalkCrunkEddiesLa BoomHang OutDiversion Ladies BarNight in Corazon