Some Yokota airmen's thoughts on the Bar Row situation
July 10, 2007
What some Yokota airmen thought about the conduct of servicemembers off base and the situation around Bar Row:
Senior Airman Alan Holler: “I think it’s just a couple people out there that are causing problems for the rest of us,” he said.
Holler added that he does not think the Bar Row restriction is fair to people who want to stay out late at night.
“Everything on base is closed, there’s nothing really here for us,” he said.
Airman 1st Class Cory Thiel: “I personally think the whole area should be off limits," said Thiel, who said he prefers to travel to Roppongi or Shinjuku in central Tokyo when he wants to go off base to drink.
“What good ever comes out of going down there (Bar Row)?” he said. “None. That’s why I don’t go down there anymore.”
Airman 1st Class Ian McGonigal: “I haven’t really been out to Bar Row in a long time,” McGonigal said. “But every time I’ve been off base it hasn’t been that bad.”
The bar owners tend to take care of the airmen who frequent their bars, he said.
“I’ve never really seen any conflicts take place, but I have heard a few stories of people getting out of hand,” he said.
Airman 1st Class Aekeith Carter: Communication is key to keeping people in line, Carter said.
“It’s easy to step out and tell people to quiet down,” he said, adding that if one of his friends is getting too loud he’ll let them know it.
He also said that he doesn’t see why other people, including local residents, should not attempt to do the same.
“If you tell someone to cool down, they’ll cool down,” he said.
Carter said what goes on around Bar Row is not as bad as some people think and that people are looking out for one another while they drink. He also said that it is not just the Americans who make noise on the streets.
Airman 1st Class Jeremy Fosburg: “I’ve seen more drunk Japanese people causing trouble than drunk Americans," Fosburg said.
He said there is no huge problem with noise in the area, except if people get in an argument.
“Only when you get onto the main street or inside the clubs does it really get loud,” he said.
While he said he generally would avoid telling just any loud, drunk person in the street to be quiet, Fosburg said that if one of his friends got out of hand, he would try to lead him away from the area until he quieted down.