The campaign to stimulate domestic tourism in the land of cherry blossoms was ridiculed as encouraging people to hospitalize or go to heaven.
On November 28, Japan confirmed there were 2,684 new cases of Covid-19 infection in the day. This number exceeded 2,592 on November 22 and marks three consecutive days that the land of the rising sun has more than 2,500 cases.
Amid a serious outbreak of Covid-19, experts began to criticize the government’s campaign to stimulate domestic tourism. They ironically the Go to Travel campaign should change its name to Go to Hospital or Go to Heaven. They point out that encouraging people to travel in the midst of a pandemic increases the number of infections in the community.
At the end of November, the head of the Tokyo government had to urge residents to limit unnecessary travel, the government was facing the possibility of declaring a state of emergency.
However, the leaders still do not want to eliminate the stimulus measures that once brought trillions of yen to the economy. Chief Cabinet Office Katsunobu Kato said on November 26 that there were only 197 cases out of more than 40 million people participating in the tourism stimulus program. The government has also not received reports of hotel staff and service workers being infected from tourists.
“There is no evidence that the travel program is the main cause of the increase in cases. But if you have a better idea, I am ready to listen,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a session. National Assembly meeting on November 25.
In an interview in August, Prime Minister Suga talked about his reasons for wanting to launch a domestic stimulus program. He wants to keep hotels and motels running so that Japan can achieve its goal of welcoming 60 million international tourists by 2030.
Economist Takahide Kiuchi of the Nomura Research Institute (Japan’s largest economic research and consulting firm) expressed: “If the government wants to help the tourism industry, they should give money directly to those who work. service”.
The government is conducting discussions to extend the Go to Travel program until the end of May 2021. About 51% of respondents in a survey by the Asahi newspaper opposed the plan to extend such deadlines, and 37% approved. The survey took place on November 14-15.
Go to Travel is a discount program for residents’ trips, hotels and restaurants to support areas most severely affected by the absence of tourists. It is also one of the government’s most prized projects aimed at boosting the economy and is supported by Prime Minister Suga.