Marine Forces Japan takes additional protective measures and restricts off-base liberty due to COVID-19 concerns
OKINAWA, Japan – Marine Forces Japan is taking additional protective measures in support of the increase to Health Protection Condition "Charlie" and has restricted off-base liberty beginning March 27.
These changes are motivated by the continued spread of COVID-19 cases throughout the region and the region-wide increase to HPCON C. These measures are preventive to ensure the protection of the force, our families, and our community.
The intent of these additional measures is to reduce the potential for the spread of COVID-19 among our personnel and our Japanese neighbors by further limiting movements and minimizing personal interactions. They apply to all MARFOR-J service members, dependents, Status of Forces Agreement-status civilians, contractors, and other MARFOR-J personnel.
The additional measures include: MARFOR-J personnel are not allowed to visit off-base establishments not expressly authorized, including bars, nightclubs, cafes, clothing stores, nail salons, and gyms. Personnel may only visit off-base restaurants for take-out, carry-out, or drive-through services. Personnel are allowed to go to off-base establishments that support vital household functions including, but not limited to, medical appointments, grocery stores, banks, gas/service stations, postal services, and dry cleaning. Personnel are allowed to engage in outdoor physical fitness activities like running, hiking, swimming, as long as they avoid close contact and adhere to the guidance for social distancing.
Our responsibility to be America’s force in readiness has not changed. MARFOR-J will continue mission essential training and activities, while implementing social distancing practices and leveraging telework and other means to limit the potential for exposure. We will maintain our currency, proficiency, and readiness in support of our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.
MARFOR-J takes our responsibility as members of the Japanese community seriously, and we are taking all prudent measures to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 to our forces, employees and Japanese neighbors, while ensuring we remain a credible response force in support of the U.S.-Japan alliance.
These additional measures will continue to be assessed to determine if additional ones may be required to ensure the protection of the force, or if they can be relaxed.
For questions about Marine Forces – Japan’s response to COVID-19, contact III Marine Expeditionary Force, Communication Strategy and Operations at firstname.lastname@example.org.