YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Sailors in Japan are barred until further notice from non-essential, off-base activities and banned from drinking alcohol, Navy officials announced Monday following a recent spate of high-profile arrests of servicemembers and civilians.
The order covers all ranks and bans both on- and off-base alcohol consumption, according to a joint announcement from 7th Fleet and Commander Naval Forces Japan.
"These measures are not taken lightly," said Rear Adm. Matthew Carter, CNFJ. "For decades, we have enjoyed a strong relationship with the people of Japan. It is imperative that each sailor understand how our actions affect that relationship, and the U.S.-Japan alliance as a whole."
Sailors living off-base can commute to work and engage in "essential activities," such as grocery shopping, gym use, child care and gasoline pickup, according to a Navy statement.
Sailors must clear other off-base activities through their chain of command, officials said Monday.
The order is the most wide-ranging restriction in several years for sailors in Japan, where the Navy has periodically ordered alcohol bans and curfews for all ranks, but particularly for younger, enlisted sailors.
Military officials said privately Monday that misconduct is…