15 Oct 2004

Marshalls opposed to bars amid suspicion of prostitution

5:01 pm on 15 October 2004

The Attorney General of the Marshall Islands has denied two foreign investment license applications for sports bars.

Atbi Riklon says the bars could promote prostitution, which is against the law.

Mr Riklon says proposals for two sports bars in the capital Majuro, will violate the customs and traditions of the Marshallese.

The rejection letter was issued yesterday, more than 11 and six months, respectively, after the applications were filed with Mr Riklon, who is the country's registrar of corporations.

The two applicants, Weimin Chen and James Wang, filed civil suits in the High Court in early September seeking court assistance to gain a decision from Mr Riklon.

The Attorney General wrote nearly identical letters to each.

Mr Riklon says the ability of foreign investors to come into the Marshall Islands is a privilege.

He says it does not give them the right to put up any type of business that is against public policy, and the customs and traditions of the Marshallese people.