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GOJ to exclude Tokyo from domestic travel campaign 

All national dailies wrote that the GOJ decided on Thursday to exclude Tokyo from its “Go To Travel” tourism promotion campaign and launch it on July 22 as planned. Travel expenses for trips by residents of Tokyo and journeys to and from Tokyo will not be eligible for subsidies under the program as the number of COVID-19 cases is surging in Tokyo. The decision was made after a government subcommittee of experts approved the plan on Thursday. Prime Minister Abe told reporters that the GOJ made the decision by taking into account the current infection situation in Japan. Tokyo Governor Koike told reporters that it will be necessary for the central government to tell the residents of Tokyo and the rest of the country how it reached the decision. Mainichi wrote that the last-minute change in the tourism promotion program demonstrates the GOJ’s failure to understand the growing concern in local areas about the program’s possible impact on their measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in their communities. 

 

The papers wrote that operators of tourism-related businesses were perplexed and disappointed by the GOJ decision to exclude Tokyo from the campaign because Tokyo is a major tourist destination as well as a major provider of tourists to other parts of Japan. The papers also wrote that while Tokyoites expressed dissatisfaction with the GOJ decision by saying that excluding Tokyo from the program is unfair, people in local areas expressed mixed reactions. People involved in tourism expressed disappointment while others expressed concern that the program could increase the risk of infection in their communities. The papers added that the Tourism Ministry is concerned that the campaign will be less effective than anticipated due to the exclusion of Tokyo.  

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