Naval Base in Japan Bans Nightclubs Following Reports of ‘Illegal Activities’

Club 54, a bar not far from the main entrance to Naval Base Yokosuka, Japan, was banned from uniformed troops for at least 90 days, Friday, May 13, 2022. (Alex Wilson/Stars and Stripes)

NAVAL BASE YOKOSUKA, Japan – The commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet home facility has barred access to a local nightclub due to “reports and evidence of illicit activity.”

Sailors and other uniformed service members will be banned from attending Club 54 in the Honcho district of Yokosuka for at least 90 days, the command announced Friday afternoon on its official Facebook page.

“Illicit activities violate Navy regulations and present conditions detrimental to the safety and security of members of the United States Armed Forces,” base spokesman Randall Baucom told Stars and Stripes in an email. friday.

Club 54, which frequently draws large weekend crowds, had been flagged for issues in the past and received written notice in November, Baucom said.

Although he did not specify the reasons for the ban, Baucom said “illicit activities” could include serving alcohol to minors, locking doors after curfew to prevent patrol checks ashore or hide service members after curfew.

Active-duty U.S. service members are prohibited from consuming alcohol in public off base between midnight and 5 a.m., according to the U.S. Forces Japan Freedom Order.

The ban on Club 54 is limited to uniformed personnel only, but Baucom said civilians and base-affiliated contractors are also encouraged to avoid the establishment.

A Club 54 representative declined to comment on the ban when contacted via Facebook Messenger on Friday afternoon. The unidentified individual said the bar had not yet been contacted by the base and was unaware of the details.

Baucom said businesses denied entry have the opportunity to represent themselves at quarterly meetings of the Armed Forces Disciplinary Review Board, which reviews establishments that have received complaints or appear to have “conditions prejudicial to safety and safety” of service members. .

“If a company is banned from access, it has the opportunity to reappear before the council and discuss how it has addressed the concerns of command, in which case the council could recommend to the commanding officer that it be removed from the list,” said Baucom.

Baucom declined to say whether the ban was related to a video that surfaced on May 6 showing five men fighting as uniformed sailors, likely members of shore patrols, watched. The scuffle, which is being investigated by the Base Security Criminal Investigations Division, occurred in front of the 54 Club.

The club joins five other establishments deemed forbidden to soldiers in the region. This list includes Mona’s Bar and Bar 894 in Yokosuka and The Night Club, Empire Lounge Bar and Vibrations Bar in Tokyo.

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