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Go To travel campaign comes under fire

33 Comments

Fearing a second wave of infections spreading from Tokyol, local municipalities, opposition lawmakers and social media users have asked the central government to suspend a major Go To travel aid campaign that aims to boost domestic tourism.

Leaders of some rural towns say that driven by the campaign, travel in and out of high-risk regions like Tokyo may lead to widespread community transmissions.

There were reports in local media of Tokyo residents being asked to stay away from parents and relatives living in rural towns that have reported fewer coronavirus cases.

The pandemic in Japan will turn into a "man-made" disaster should the travel program go ahead, Soichiro Miyashita, mayor of the city of Mutsu in Aomori Prefecture, warned.

But Japan's economy minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, said the government will cautiously proceed with the campaign, which includes discounts for shopping and food.

"Obviously we will consider the thoughts of many of our people, while monitoring the situation ahead," Nishimura, who leads the government's coronavirus policy, told parliament.

The program, among the government's top initiatives to stimulate economic activity and set to start this month, has also come under fire over costs as it subcontracts back-office work to a private contractor.

The city reported 165 new cases of infection on Wednesday.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

33 Comments
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This GO to travel thing is probs a rip-off. only the major travel agencies are applicable for those 35% discounts.

I bet they will be escalated the prices and in the end it will be the same or even more expensive as if you were to buy on your own via website or directly...

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Go to travel...? Seriously japan, all that money you throw at English education hasn’t paid off hey

26 ( +30 / -4 )

The very idea is insane.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

"Obviously we will consider the thoughts of many of our people, while monitoring the situation ahead,"

Except "obviously" you won't, and aren't, since you won't listen to people saying it should be postponed and will go ahead with it anyway.

28 ( +30 / -2 )

Nishimura, who leads the government's coronavirus policy

It'd be great if someone would delicately let Nishimura know that the coronavirus is a bad thing and that the government's coronavirus policy should be trying to limit rather than further the spread of it.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Dear Nishimura,

In order to limit the spread of Covid-19 reduce population mobility.

To spread the virus, increase population mobility.

Sincerely,

Every rational person on the planet

21 ( +23 / -2 )

The politicians need the go to campaign to receive the kick-backs they are promised.

The "stimulus" is pretty much just a cover to transfer as much money as possible from the taxpayers to the banks of politician's friends and family.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Go to travel...? Seriously japan, all that money you throw at English education hasn’t paid off hey

Maybe if all that foreign "teachers" were actually true teachers not some random Ed from the sesame street somewhere in the English speaking country that would pay off.

Anyway my plan is to enjoy GO to campaign and boost the Japanese economy. I will try to use it ASAP as virus cases might rise and Tokyo will be excluded. Beside as someone mention before, later on people will figure out and charge more just to make Yen.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

It’s irresponsible beyond words.

Just keep in mind that this idea was launched a handful of days before Tokyo has just returned to a ‘Level 4 alert’. There was no clearly no consideration of the current situation, or the fact that it could get worse.

There is very little future planning going on. Right now, national and local government, as well as all businesses, need to be making contingency plans for whats going to happen should the virus situation continue for the next 12-18 months. The first parts of those contingency plans need to be put into practice now.

What is not needed is initiatives promoting national tourism. That, as someone has already said, is insane.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

If you were an aging resident in the boonies (let’s be honest, that’s a majority of the population) would you want a bunch of people from Tokyo descending on your moderate sized (Kanazawa for example. Beautiful city btw) city? Full disclosure, I’m “from” Tokyo.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

There is nothing wrong with the idea, it's the timing which is bad.

It probably was conceived when things were improving and there was daily decline in infection numbers, but that is not the situation now and we need to wait for some more time.

Travel and accommodation industry contribute to local economies and need to be supported, it's the how and when that is important.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

one of the biggest outsourcing contracts

Trebles all round (and cushy amakudari) in Shiodome, etc.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Australia and Japan similar situation with number of cases and resurgence of the virus although Australia does 10-20 times or more daily testing per day than Japan. Australia lockdown of travel from Victoria where most of the new cases are. Border operation of police and army to stop Victorians entering NSW. In Japan the total opposite. Campaign for people to travel all over the country including those from the places with most of the cases. Actually encouraging the virus to be spread nationwide,

Which country policy is right, I honestly have no idea. Time will tell But clearly one of the two countries must be insane.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Being a resident of rural Ishikawa, I could not believe this the first time I read about this Go To campaign. If your in Kanto, Tokyo, or anyplace in Japan for that matter, do the right thing and stay home until this is over. If you feel the need to go out go to the park or take a walk. Do not come to Hokuriku.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

English teachers spend loads of time trying to get Japanese to stop saying "go to travel" and "go to shopping" . English teaching is futile.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Somebodies gone crazy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This just spreads the disease. Think about who would think it is OK to travel around. The exact same people who don’t wear masks, etc, etc. It’s a recipe for COVID soup from Hokkaido to Miyako-Jima. STOP this idiocy NOW!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wonder if Iwate will try and shut down it's borders so that it can keep it's miraculous feat of having zero cases of Corona virus? Heaven help that first patient! They will be in Corona hell!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

After Covid19 first wave,

Many hospitals that are in financial crisis are difficult even to pay enough salary to many medical staff who have been tired mentally and physically.

besides, a certain Japanese doctor says : Increase of patients and infection momentum are beyond first wave.

Covid19-positive rate has raised in Tokyo, ’second wave’ has come into Japanese society clearly.

But Japanese Abe Govt prioritize to waste 1.7 trillion yen for questionable ”GoTo Travel Campaign” than saving human life or supporting many medical staff economically. 

Present Abe Govt is similar to wartime Japan's military HQ who were obsessed with optimism or wishful thinking and caused innumerable victim.

Irresponsible Abe Govt do nothing against Covid19 second wave, and put responsibility to travellers, hotels or restaurants.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"...while monitoring the situation ahead" has to be the stupidest thing I've read in a long time. You cannot monitor ahead. That's crystal ball gazing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is what you can expect from a government whose direction contains no contingency planning and decisions are made based on wind direction and dice rolls rather than sufficient amounts of quality data. The reason why this initiative has not been dropped already is probably the huge loss of face it would result in for the politicians. The coronavirus policy in Japan is pure PR.

Japan deserves better I think.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Abe's side kick who is promoting this go travel go will he and other politicians be getting on public transportation and taking part in this so-called campaign? If they state, "yes" I would like to see photos.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is what to expect when the oficial policy is herd impunity.

Surprised that most people have yet to grasp the government corona virus policy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The pandemic in Japan will turn into a "man-made" disaster should the travel program go ahead, Soichiro Miyashita, mayor of the city of Mutsu in Aomori Prefecture, warned.

Mr Miyashita, your prefecture Aomori with a population of 1.25M people has to date done 1170 pcr test that is under 6 test. Strange you don't think it is worrying.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's too early for this, and the reason why, a second wave, was always likely. The campaign should be restricted to residents of areas with few infections, or if that is not politically possible, simply just delayed.

Tourism has taken a double hit with Covid-19 because a decent chunk of it is event-based and all of such events have been cancelled. To build a more resilient tourism sector, towns need to move away from events and create or protect spaces and experiences that can be enjoyed at any time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It seems to be a bad timing although I don't really oppose to the basic idea behind this incentive program.

In the long run we better find or nurture alternative "pandemic-proof" industries to sustain the economy. Tourism and over-reliance on inbound demands turn out to be vulnerable under crisis of this sort (though the problem is not at all unique to Japan; many tourism-prone economies are suffering now)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Four weeks ago the message was ‘stay home’ now it’s the opposite!

It’s just like a slapstick clown performance...actually better!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Here's my idea, the government gives me ¥100,000 to buy a PlayStation 4 and a new big screen Toshiba TV and spend golden week with my family at home thank you.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A lot of oversensitive English teachers complaining about the name of the campaign.

It's not really "go to travel" as in "I will go to travel" but rather Go to .... (Fill in a name of a place etc) Travel campaign.

At least that is what I understand by it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Know a guy who works in a hotel. Cheapest rooms price has been slashed from ¥10,000 to ¥5 000 and the hotel went from zero occupancy to 80%. The staff are over the moon because they know they still have a job. It's a dilemma, reduce and continue to work or close down.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Trump, Bolsonaro and Abe, only they three "leaders" are lowered support rate after Corona virus outbreak.

Number of fatalities and infected in Japan is lower than US or Brazil but Japanese Govt's support rate was down. because although Japanese Abe Govt had many opportunity that could decrease victim, they who want to prioritize economy ignored it.

and now, stupid "GoTo travel campaign".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who has the money and time to travel?

And who goes traveling in a pandemic?

This message is full of contradictions...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Go To..." "Somewhere else, and not here" maybe ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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