US troops in Japan get New Year's curfew extension
stripes.com -- Dec 27
Some U.S. troops in Japan can ring in 2013 outside the gates thanks to a one-night-only New Year's Eve curfew extension granted Tuesday by the top U.S. military commander in Japan.
Those on Okinawa, however, must still abide by the 11 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew, imposed in October after two sailors allegedly gang-raped a woman on Okinawa.
The exemption allows troops on the mainland to stay out until 1 a.m. "to enjoy the arrival of the New Year with their Japanese hosts" although they must stop drinking by 12:30 a.m., Air Force Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella wrote in a memo to all military personnel in Japan.
Angelella ordered the curfew "to demonstrate to our Japanese hosts that we're serious about our relationship" and to "jolt" servicemembers into being good neighbors, Angelella said last week.
A handful of subsequent arrests prompted other commanders to clamp down even further on troops. The Navy, for example, now requires all sailors to be at home by 11 p.m. And on Okinawa, servicemembers cannot buy or consume alcohol off base.
Shortly after arriving in Tokyo Wednesday night, U.S. President Barack Obama enjoyed an informal dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a top-rated sushi restaurant in the posh Ginza shopping district. (Jiji Press )
The education ministry conducted national academic achievement tests on Tuesday for all final-year students at primary and middle schools across the country. About 2.24 million students at about 30,000 schools took Japanese and mathematics exams. (The Japan News )
Police in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture, admitted Wednesday that they mistakenly arrested a woman in her 20s over her suspected involvement in a blackmail case which occurred in January of this year. (Japan Today )
Tokyo High Court ordered the state and a former Maritime Self-Defense Force officer on Wednesday to pay 73 million yen in compensation for the 2004 suicide of a junior crewman of an MSDF destroyer after bullying by the officer. (Jiji Press )
The Imperial Household Agency announced this week that it has received over 100,000 applications from individuals seeking to participate in the first ever public opening of parts of the Imperial Palace. (Japan Today )
A former judge from the Ministry of Justice is alleged to have installed a camera inside a women's toilet inside a ministry building in Kasumigaseki, people with knowledge of the matter announced on Monday, reports Sports Nippon (Apr. 22). (Tokyo Reporter )
Police in Fuso, Aichi Prefecture, said Sunday they have arrested an unemployed 38-year-old man for attempted murder after he broke into the home of his ex-girlfriend and stabbed her and her parents. (Japan Today )