- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2014

Japan gave the world samurai, but now one of its cities has banned “scary” tattoos on a beach frequented by American soldiers.

Inked U.S. troops heading from Yokosuka Naval Base to Zushi Beach will no longer be able to show their “scary” tattoos, eat barbecue or drink alcohol, city official Masashi Koizumi told Stars and Stripes.

“Public morals [at Zushi Beach] have worsened every year,” Mr. Koizumi told Stars and Stripes. “The residents have said that they wished for the summer to pass quickly and that they just have to endure it.”

“Girls here love tattoos; they think it’s cool,” David Williams, a petty officer on the USS John S. McCain, told Stars and Stripes, which also noted that body art in Japan is often associated with yakuza (organized crime).

The new ordinance does not spell out what constitutes a “scary” tattoo or whether stylized ink associated with yakuza will be targeted. More specific details are expected to be announced in March. 

Stars and Stripes reported that U.S. Navy officials could not comment on the city’s new policy since they had not yet had a chance to speak with Zushi officials.

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• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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