YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Active-duty and civilian personnel at Yokota Air Base no longer have to wrap up their carousing in the entertainment district just outside the base by 1 a.m.

Col. Paul Feather on Friday lifted the long-standing curfew in the “bar row” neighborhood just outside the base’s main gate. Earlier in January, Feather rescinded a list of “off-limits” establishments in that area.

Feather’s decision was made based on few problems with airmen during off-duty hours and a good relationship with the local community since he took command of the 374th Airlift Wing last summer, according to Yokota spokesman Capt. Tania Bryan.

“The big push is personal responsibility,” Bryan said. “We want our airmen to go out in the local community and experience the Japanese culture and give them the freedom to go out and make their own decisions.”

Yokota personnel and anyone visiting or working temporarily at the base in metropolitan Tokyo had been prohibited from bar row – a garish cluster of nightclubs, pubs, karaoke joints and restaurants – from 1 a.m. until 6 a.m. since 2005. A former Yokota commander ordered the curfew at the time to cut down on crime involving U.S. troops and Defense Department civilians.

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