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U.S. military relaxes liberty restrictions in Okinawa

Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that Marine Lt. Gen. Smith, Okinawa Area Coordinator, drastically eased liberty restrictions for service members in the island prefecture starting on Feb. 26, noting that the restriction on young Marines driving off base was lifted and personnel ranked E5 and below will have an extra hour of off-base liberty. Other restrictions that were lifted reportedly include a requirement that Marines have “liberty buddies” when they go off base. According to a Marine spokesperson, the general gave the service members greater freedom to “learn about and enjoy Okinawa.” The daily expressed concern that the relaxation of liberty restrictions may lead to an increase in incidents and accidents involving military personnel.   

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