Further Review of "Go To Travel" Possible, Minister Suggests

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 1 (Jiji Press)--Japanese tourism minister Kazuyoshi Akaba has left open the possibility of further reviewing the operation of the government's Go To Travel campaign, depending on the coronavirus situation in the country.

"For areas where novel coronavirus infection cases are increasing, we will consider a response based on opinions from prefectural governors and members of a central government panel of infectious disease experts," he said at a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament, on Monday.

In late November, the government decided to temporarily halt the travel discount campaign's coverage of trips to the city of Osaka, the capital of the namesake prefecture in western Japan, and Sapporo, the capital of the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, due to recent spikes in newly confirmed infection cases in the cities.

Attention is now being paid to the handling of trips to Tokyo, where the virus is also spreading fast, under the subsidy-backed program for shoring up travel demand. Tokyo was initially excluded from the Go To Travel campaign, which started in late July, because of a surge in coronavirus cases in the Japanese capital at the time. Tokyo was added to the campaign at the beginning of October.

Akaba also said that many local governments are calling for an extension of the campaign. "We will appropriately manage the program while continuing to take thorough measures to prevent the spread of the virus."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press