Dec 11 2012
I have been keeping in touch with friends in Japan, listening to them tell all about the complete stupidity of VADM Swift:
While the specific recommendations that were developed as part of the summit are reviewed, additional, temporary measures will remain in place in addition to the U.S. Forces Japan curfew, an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. liberty curfew for all U.S. service members in Japan. These Navy specific additional measures include: the consumption of alcohol is prohibited from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. for all 7th Fleet assigned personnel in order to ensure all Sailors will be better able to meet the curfew requirements in Japan and all Sailors with any alcohol-related incidents within the last 3 years be placed on Class “C” liberty risk status which administratively curtails their ability to take liberty off of a U.S. installation..
Suffice it to say there are a lot of upset people. And their should be. These rules are , for one thing, completely unenforceable-which, as I was taught early on generally makes a rule a bad one. Swift is fooling himself if he thinks that it is going to reduce liberty incidents-and it certainly is not going to prevent the consumption of alcohol after 10 PM.
Lets look at the smart persons strategy to beat this little measure, shall we?
1) Move off base. Preferably far off base and away from other Americans. Just about all of the southern Kanto plain is within a 30 minute train ride of Yokosuka, or Atsugi. Better to have a long commute in order to have some privacy over one's private life.
2) Stock up early. On cash and on beer. Lay in a good supply from the exchange and use some of the cheap supermarkets and 7-11's to keep it topped off.
3) Get an answering machine with phone forwarding. Never, Never, Never answer your phone-let it go straight to voice mail and call back as needed.
4). Learn Japanese and start going farther afield. Plenty of great bars away from Roppongi. Most with "Stay or Rest" hotels nearby. Bring cash-and don't go back to the ship till after 6AM. Talk to your buddies in Korea who have been avoiding "courtesy patrols" for years. Japan offers ten times the options that Korea does.
5) Write your Congressman and tell him-in strongest possible terms that the 7th Fleet commander has lost his mind. Then next week write him again.
6)For those of you with a Japanese girlfriend-submit a request chit making your girlfriend's apartment an approved overnight location. If they turn you down-submit another one. This has the added bonus of pissing off the American female Sailors who hate the fact that so many of their male counterparts ignore them and go after nice looking Japanese tuna.
7)Remind any khaki in sight-that his children enjoy more privileges and a later curfew than he does.
8) Non Seventh Fleet Commands should refuse to be dictated to by Seventh Fleet. This has the two fold affect of showing the powers that be that the restrictions are unnecessary-and it creates friction with the prisoners assigned to Seventh Fleet units. That kind of pushback led to easing of these stupid restrictions before and will again.
9) Take lots of 5 day leaves to Thailand. If they insist you take a buddy, get a friend to go-and then stay at hotels on the opposite ends of Sukhumvit.
Seriously, it strikes me as just an arrogant course of action. This is not acceptable in a home port. No commander could legally get away with it in Guam, San Diego, Puerto Rico or even Norfolk. Yokosuka may be on Japanese soil-but it is first and foremost a homeport. Treating it as a liberty port is not only a basic violation of the Sailors rights and American law-its unsound policy.
Oh and as an extra added benefit-better train some more rape facilitators. Because you will have more sexual incidents in the barracks and the ship. When you want it bad, you get it bad.
Clearly VADM Swift is being poorly served by his advisors-more importantly is being clearly misled about what the Japanese really want and expect. What most folks fail to realize is that most of the "outrage" by the Japanese is feigned-to produce a reaction among fellow Japanese and not with Americans. Like noise complaints-the real agenda is about squeezing the Japanese government-especially when it comes to Okinawa. I am surprised that Swift and company cannot understand that.
What the Japanese do want of Americans-is to have serious criminal offenders, like the guys accused of the Okinawa rape ( who incidentally were NOT Seventh Fleet Sailors), turned over to the Japanese criminal justice system. And for the good of the people who don't get in trouble ; the 98% of Americans assigned there-they probably should be.
Willard got this wrong in 2003, They got it wrong in 2005 and again in 2008. They are still getting it wrong. If you want your Sailors to behave like adults treat them like adults-and stop meddling in their personal lives.
Look! I'm smarter than a three star……..