Japanese PM might restrict a travel subsidy programme for limiting virus cases

Published on : Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga might restrict a much disapproved travel subsidy programme in order to curb increasing corona virus infections, with his approval rating plunging over the handling of the pandemic.


Suga presided over a corona virus meeting on Dec 14 for discussing plans regarding the travel campaign.


He is expected to close down the travel campaign to the capital Tokyo and the city of Nagoya in the large industrial hub of Aichi prefecture.


The “Go To Travel” campaign is aimed towards heightening regional economies and helping hotels and airlines, and has helped fuel demand for tourism, said government spokesman Katsunobu Kato.


Nevertheless, although the Japanese government aims to promote economic activity, it also wants to avert the spread of the virus, Kato added. “That balance depends on the situation in each region,” he said, without saying anything further.


Regardless of concerns by experts that the travel campaign might spread the virus, Suga has said that an immediate halt to the entire campaign is not under consideration.


While Japan has not seen the kind of massive outbreaks that have affected the United States and parts of Europe, infections have shot up with the onset of winter, particularly in regions like the northern island of Hokkaido and the city of Osaka.


“If the economy is destroyed, then it can become serious trouble,” Suga said during an online town hall on Friday.


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