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Tourism minister to consider when to restart Go To Travel campaign

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here we go again!

16 ( +33 / -17 )

Go to Covid infection rise again.

17 ( +38 / -21 )

They can't let it go, can they? Use the money for better use instead of sponsoring the outings of privileged people who can afford to travel because they haven't been affected financially

20 ( +38 / -18 )

Strike one against the incoming Kishida regime that has stated as its goal the reversal of neoliberal policies that have increased wealth gaps and left many Japanese workers with stagnant wages.

Their first proposal to do that? Subsidize discretionary leisure travel for those with the means and time to do so, boost the coffers of hotel owners, travel agencies, associated business owners; who during the first round of GoTo engaged in mass layoffs as well documented on this site. Well they wasted no time in showing their true colors. I am sure as a bonus Dentsu will get the contract for a new promotional campaign. I suppose this is what Kishida meant when he announced a massive spending campaign to help those "hard hit by the pandemic".

24 ( +37 / -13 )

Go to Covid infection rise again.

Another new wave will show up, even new variant.

3 ( +23 / -20 )

None of this makes sense.

firstly, not letting people drink in restaurants, restricting them travelling etc.

Then pushing them to travel, pushing them to eat out.

This kind of over reach by the government is an insult at the end of the day. Pushing, and pulling people back like they’re donkeys,

regardless, I do exactly as I please when I please

31 ( +39 / -8 )

If you are vaccinated, what is the problem?

Are we not getting told everyday how safe the vaccine is?

The vaccine prevent us to get seriously sick, the vaccine prevents the spread of the virus down to 50% or something like that...and so on.

So why should the vaccinated people are not going to travel and if they can get benefits from a go to travel campaign, why not take it?

If you refuse the vaccine and get sick with Covid during a travel, it is your own fault, because you refused the vaccine.

-16 ( +17 / -33 )

If anyone has a better idea how to revive this part of the economy now's the time to say it

23 ( +31 / -8 )

SERIOUSLY????

2 ( +20 / -18 )

If there is no longer an emergency order, people can travel when and where they want. Do they really need to be subsidised by tax payers?

19 ( +30 / -11 )

Use the money for better use instead of sponsoring the outings of privileged people who can afford to travel 

How rich do you have to be to visit another town by train, stay two nights and see some stuff?

Sounds more like the usual complaints from you whenever there is the suggestion of other people spending money.

This is a good thing. Get everyone out and spending again. Everyone is used to virus measures now. There's no 'surge'. There won't be either. The numbers speak for themselves.

-9 ( +16 / -25 )

On one of the AM news programs today, individual prefectures are already starting back up with the "Go to Eat" campaign!

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Do they really need to be subsidised by tax payers?

The money has already been budgeted, so they have to use it! (sarcasm) And it's also to give a boost to areas that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, but not often discussed, because everyone knew that the virus only spread at nighttime in drinking establishments! (sarcasm)

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Just as some (including myself) predicted - once the emergency is over, the Go to travel programme or similar will be launched to improve the economic situation and the tourism sector in general. Since we love all sorts of bogus "discounts" and "campaigns" here, people will take advantage of it. The number of infected will increase (like last year), the whole event will be stopped, there will be another emergency (or give it another name) and again. The number of infected will increase, the economic situation in the tourism sector will worsen (again).

Of course, it will then be the fault, as usual, of the operators of the pachinko parlours, karaoke and izakaya. Not those who started the campaign.

Sometimes, their genius is frightening...

22 ( +26 / -4 )

@RarelyReason

This is a good thing. Get everyone out and spending again.

How is it possible to "spend" when your minimal wage hours have been cut or reduced to zero on your contract job by your company which is being subsidized through your tax bills that continue to come in the mail despite your severely reduced circumstances and the assistance from the government comes in the form of vouchers to spend in hotels and eateries which you could not afford in the first place?

In terms of economic revival, it is incredibly short-sighted and a casebook example of failed "trickle down economics".

10 ( +23 / -13 )

Go and travel, would been the right campaign

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I like the idea of Go To but not during a pandemic. If they insist on doing it soon there should at least be a requirement to prove you’ve been vaccinated. It would also be better to wait until the adult population has reached the 80% vaccinated rate.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

If you are vaccinated, what is the problem?

If you don't drive, what is the problem with drunk drivers?

People that only care about themselves forget very easily that no vaccine is perfect, and that some people will still be at risk of serious complications and death even if vaccinated, not to count those that for any reason can't be vaccinated.

Promoting something that is known to increase the risk of important spreading means some more people will die, if the spreading is important enough a new round of inneffective but costly state of emergency measures will be put forward and with bad luck a new variant may appear since Japan is still not in herd immunity status.

One thing is to let people run their business with responsibility and measures that control the spreading, another completely different is to promote uncontrolled travel and people congregating in tourist spots.

There are other kind of measures that can be done to support people, focusing in tourism as if it was the only productive industry of the country is asking for trouble.

9 ( +21 / -12 )

How is it possible to "spend" when your minimal wage hours...

But just because you can't afford to spend doesn't mean we shouldn't be encouraging those of us that can. Restaurants and entertainment facilities have suffered enough. Time to open them up and encourage some spending to revive the sector.

Your complaint is a personal economic one. Nothing to do with virus restrictions.

-16 ( +9 / -25 )

Too early to think of that!!!

4 ( +14 / -10 )

These idiots are relentless. A quick look at this chap (no need to look as knew he'd be a male fossil, but couldn't resist) is enough to see how out of touch he is.

No no no

8 ( +19 / -11 )

If there is no longer an emergency order, people can travel when and where they want. Do they really need to be subsidised by tax payers?

Agreed. Upon lifting SOE, demands are already skyrocketing without GoTo subsidy. Booking numbers have increased by 10 times.

旅行店には予約殺到…“全面解除”で生活に変化は?

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/525206f841e0c1b20ef20d31bfbdec8ef93689e6

GoTo cuts both ways as such monetary support could end up distorting tourism markets. It could make big crowds, and make the industry more dependent on state subsidy. By data, the previous GoTo last year solely benefited major travel agents while most virus-affected local shops and hotels couldn't earn sufficiently.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Your complaint is a personal economic one. Nothing to do with virus restrictions.

As is yours. Subsidizing travel has nothing to do with travel restrictions due to the virus.

Why do the taxes of all need to be utilized to 'encourage' you on your leisure travel?

11 ( +20 / -9 )

No subsidies.

Every industry should be expected to survive on its own, without props from the rest of the taxpayers.

I heard an astonishing statement from a farmer on TV the other day with regards to his expectations for the new Kishida government.

”I want the government to make for an environment in which the things that we produce will sell”, he said.

This is the most backwards idea imaginable.

It is for the farmers to produce products that will sell, not demand that the government guarantees that what they produce will have a buyer.

The same with tourism.

And every other industry that falls on hard times in different years.

Circumstances change. When they do, people should adjust their economic decisions accordingly.

In Japan, this is invariably forgone as people have a deluded notion that they can look to the politicians to “protect their lives”. This leads to stagnation.

Japan needs to be dynamic, and not make taxpayers pay for the laziness of various sectors to adjust to changing conditions.

Ending such special privilege will “hurt” people, but as part of a package in which taxpayers no longer are coerced to paying to prop up others, everyone benefits as well. And we should never underestimate the ability of people to adjust to changing circumstances when they have the incentives to do so.

Abolish privilege.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

If anyone has a better idea how to revive this part of the economy now's the time to say it

To ease Covid pain, the thing to do was furlough workers in the affected sectors when lockdown measures were in place.

Regarding "reviving", it is important to realize that unless people who can afford it stop travelling overseas (highly unlikely), domestic travel is going to decrease anyway. It is not a growth industry. The reason is simple demographics. Look at the active population, the number of people genki enough to travel, mostly under 75. It is falling by about one million people a year. Demographics will mean a number of hotels, onsens, minshukus etc. are going to go bust in the coming years anyway. Every province has a tourism promotion agency and is coming out with pretty drone footage of mountains and seascapes and shots of people glamping, eating great food, and whatever, but they are fighting each other for a share of a rapidly dimishing pie. It would be wiser to spend national money on diversifying provincial economies, such as by decentralization. Decentralization would also increase resilience against natural disasters and pandemics. Shift stuff out of Tokyo and you no longer have "mitsu".

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Let's hope that being vaccinated will be one of the requirements..

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Why do the taxes of all need to be utilized to 'encourage' you on your leisure travel?

If you fail to see how encouraging spending across the nation rather than locally will revive the economy... Then there's no helping you.

I suppose you'd much rather all the spending remain localised in the economic powerhouses of a few city centres.

That's going to make things much better... Won't it?

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Rare Reason

You gott be quite rich in Japan to afford to travel when most people travel aka peak season as hotels charge by the person here and a family of 4 staying at an average 3 star hotel pay 30.000 yen easily. I guess you don't live here to know that. So a two day one night trip can set you back 100.000.

Guess you must be loaded not to think that's a lot of money

4 ( +15 / -11 )

The overall discount was capped at 20,000 yen per person per night

At least cap the discount at say 50% of what it was ( 10,000 yen max per night and 5000 for day trip ) so it doesn,t so blatantly benefit those who spend on high end hotels more. Your average Taro is unlikely to be spending a few man yen on a room per night.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

This is so great (NOT!).

Got to travel, go to eat and after that once again go to hospital (if available).

Just the normal cycle for Japan, start again, end it again, start again and so on.

Nothing has changed and nothing will change!

9 ( +14 / -5 )

I'll be one of the first in line to take advantage of this! See you all in another prefecture!

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Strike one against the incoming Kishida regime that has stated as its goal the reversal of neoliberal policies

Neoliberal policies don’t subsidize vested interests at the expense of taxpayers! Abolishing privilege is neoliberal policy.

Why do the taxes of all need to be utilized to 'encourage' you on your leisure travel?

Exactly right! But can you stop claiming that subsidies are a neoliberal policy, when neoliberal policy is about doing the exact opposite?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I guess you don't live here to know that.

Rather an odd thing to suggest. But moving on...

So a two day one night trip can set you back 100.000.

Guess you must be loaded not to think that's a lot of money

No, spending 100,000 is not 'loaded'.

But that's the whole point. What would have cost your impoverished family 100,000 without the campaign now costs them 50,000. Much more reasonable... No?

And then they will do their usual eating out and spending... As much or as little as you deem fit for them to spend.

But they will be doing it somewhere else in the country. Reviving the entertainment sector nationwide.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

So why should the vaccinated people are not going to travel and if they can get benefits from a go to travel campaign, why not take it?

That’s the rational thing to do at an individual level.

But when thinking about quality policy, having everyone pay subsidies to those opting to travel, that’s just purely bad policy. Everyone should be against this.

It’s similar in various areas. Take furusato nozei. If you are on a high income then it makes great sense to divert as much or your taxes as you can to getting products / service of utility. You’d be crazy not to take advantage.

But this is what you do in response to the availability of such bad policies.

Government should not be making such bad policies that create and favour privilege.

Its not the fault of the privileged though. It’s the fault of the central government and their enablers.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Exactly right! But can you stop claiming that subsidies are a neoliberal policy, when neoliberal policy is about doing the exact opposite?

Why then has PM Kishida, along with virtually all Western analysts pointed to pro- corporate policies like tax breaks and subsidizing corporations and cuts to social services as textbook neoliberalism?

Your argument smacks of ' No True Scotsman'

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

@fxgai

I do understand your point, and looking at the big picture of makes sense.

But in the short term (up to a few decades), how can we 'abandon' the economically failing industries and regions?

Eventually people will adjust and regions may recover with alternate industries. But there will be a fair few suffering in the meantime.

Yes I know, your suggestion is not to entirely 'abandon', but no word would be positive. Neglect? Ignore?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

*"We will consider the situation regarding novel coronavirus infections and consider when to resume the program," said Tetsuo Saito. "It is a program crucial for the recovery of tourist sites and local economies."*

Not really, it is just passing tax-payers money to the population for them to decide who in the industry survives and who doesn't. Ultimately, the money is going to be splashed across the board with pretty much nobody in the industry receiving enough to be substantial me thinks.

On the other side, big buddy players will get to see a lot of money for doing not very much (Dentsu anyone?). Add to the fact that millions:

.have lost their jobs

.have folded their business

.have their salaries stuck for more than a decade while taxes were sky-rocketing

.have had no bonuses or less of it

.are unsure about where we are going with COVID

.have other problems (kids tuition, ailing parents, making ends meet on a monthly basis)

As per the above, it is not likely that these days many are thinking about travel anyway. I feel it is more likely that those who would make use of GOTO are those who could anyway afford to travel even without GOTO while those would need real support see their taxes paying for something that doesn't provide anything to them...

This looks more like trickle-down for the tourism industry, channelling money from the have-not-so-much to the don't-need-it. LDPnomics in a nutshell.

While international travel is still largely limited due to the pandemic, Saito said the government will uphold its goal of attracting 60 million foreign visitors to Japan by 2030.

Dream on. Half that target-number not being spread across the whole country led to over-tourism in limited areas while vast areas of the countries were seeing only sparse benefit from that boom. Doubling the figure will just increase the discrepancy and might actually lead to collapse of the areas currently hitting their limits.

Long story short: the government needs to stop pulling figures out of thin air and start to actually analyze, plan and define a vision for the industry with realistic goals/figures to have a chance to actually reach their goals. Essentially, like, you know..."work" instead of talk. Not holding my breath though.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@virusrex

You are always saying people should take the vaccine. You even support that people should be forced to take the vaccine.

But on the other hand, you are saying, people should not travel, people should not go out for drinking in Izakaya, people should not meet other people, what is a purpose of a travel or going to an izakaya.

The benefit and the purpose of the vaccine is, and that is what all your highly admired experts are telling us everyday, is to go back to a normal life!

And a normal life inludes traveling and going to restaurants and meet people.

If that is not allowed, even I am vaccined, so what is the purpose of the vaccine?

That I probably don't get seriously sick?

If I don't travel, if I don't go to Izakaya, if I don't go to meet people, I also will not get seriously sick, because I don't meet anyone.

So I also don't need a vaccine.

You always call the people who are refusing the vaccine as selfish.

And now you call the vaccinated people, who are going to travel also as selfish? (only care about themselves).

Sorry, but I don't understand the logic behind that.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Are they serious right now?!! We just finally got done with the SoE and they want to promote a campaign that will guarantee a spread and surge of infections. What is wrong with them?!!

6 ( +12 / -6 )

There are some merits to the idea. It would stimulate demand and provide a needed boost to local economies.

I think the biggest issue is timing. I would prefer a delay until Japan hits a 70% fully vaccinated level. But that is just me.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This time at least wait until winter so I can use it for snowboarding!! :D

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The new normal. Now that the borders are closed indefinitely to foreign tourists, Japan will resort to paying its own citizens to travel domestically. A very Japanese solution.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Oh, no! I'm not worried about corona, I'm more worried the crazy amounts of people traveling all over the country once it gets reinstated. It was great to walk in empty tourist areas during the 'emergency' months.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

you'd much rather all the spending remain localised in the economic powerhouses of a few city centres.

You completely miss the point.

Psst… I am going to travel to the countryside in November and go apple picking… and I’m going to pay for the whole thing out of my own, Tokyo-based pocket.

Subsidies aren’t required to have people spend money out in the regions.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Mr KiplingToday  08:33 am JST

Let's hope that being vaccinated will be one of the requirements..

Why? What about people who have already had the disease, symptomatic or otherwise? They're at lower risk of spreading the disease and getting ill than those who are vaccinated.

Pfizer Scientists: ‘Your [COVID] Antibodies Are Better Than The [Pfizer] Vaccination.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On5RYFbcxWY

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Let's hope that being vaccinated will be one of the requirements..

Let's hope NOT.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

@dagon,

Why then has PM Kishida, along with virtually all Western analysts pointed to pro- corporate policies like tax breaks and subsidizing corporations and cuts to social services as textbook neoliberalism?

The first two examples are examples of special privilege, which neoliberal policy seeks to abolish. Kishida has been complaining about “neoliberal” policy yet he himself has suggested tax benefits for companies that do what he says in terms of wages. That’s not neoliberal.

As for the last point, cuts to social services, it certainly could be a component of a neoliberal policy package that seeks to improve incentives people have to work and make their own way in life (but without specifics it’s hard to say whether cuts would be good or bad - it depends where the current incentives are and what they would be after reforms.)

Yet, Kishida hasn’t proposed cuts to social services so far as I can see. In the LDP leadership campaign Kono raised the topic of the unsustainable pension scheme and was pilloried for the suggestion that all might not be well in that area. Kono is not my idea of an arc-neoliberal reformer, but he was the closest of the four in that direction.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan…….let’s keep reusing, bad ideas!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@RareReason,

Eventually people will adjust and regions may recover with alternate industries. But there will be a fair few suffering in the meantime.

This is true, but I think you underestimate the ability and capacity of people to adjust, far, far more rapidly than a span of years.

The best example I can give you is the reforms of New Zealand in the 1980’s, when vast changes were enacted quickly. One of the big changes was abolishing subsidies to farmers.

They lost their former privilege, but at the same time so did others, and today, without government subsidies, New Zealand’s farmers have moved into profitable areas and rather than die out, have a great reputation now for agriculture. They have established one of the leading futures markets for agriculture products there too, I recall.

Japan could revive its failing regions too, in similar ways, I believe.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

stay home campaign Japan government never learn anything and want to spark another go to covid

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

As much as I would like this program to restart because of my own establishment, however. Before you consider very hastily and create a new problem. Focus on how many people have been vaccinated first by the rate of how many people have the virus. How effective the vaccine immunity rates are after 2, 3, and 6 months and than make an informed decision on weather or not to continue the go to program or wait for a more effective vaccine or treatment for the virus. The priority now is to minimize the virus and vanquish it not maximize greed and create a greater problem.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

 It would be wiser to spend national money on diversifying provincial economies, such as by decentralization. Decentralization would also increase resilience against natural disasters and pandemics. Shift stuff out of Tokyo and you no longer have "mitsu".

I'll just post one of @ RareReason's post as a reply if I may,

I do understand your point, and looking at the big picture of makes sense.

But in the short term (up to a few decades), how can we 'abandon' the economically failing industries and regions?

Eventually people will adjust and regions may recover with alternate industries. But there will be a fair few suffering in the meantime.

Yes I know, your suggestion is not to entirely 'abandon', but no word would be positive. Neglect? Ignore?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Actually, there's no need to choose one or the other, govt can do both and more

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If you refuse the vaccine and get sick with Covid during a travel, it is your own fault, because you refused the vaccine.

Yes sir, Comply or die. Where have we heard this before?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There are some merits to the idea. It would stimulate demand and provide a needed boost to local economies.

I think the biggest issue is timing. I would prefer a delay until Japan hits a 70% fully vaccinated level. But that is just me.

It's Japan right? How soon do you think they can make a decision and when is the implementation?

Meanwhile, from an article in Japan times:

According to the government, 60.9% of people have had their second dose, while 71.3% have received their first.

The proportion of fully vaccinated residents is expected to top 70% this month.

Seems timing will be just right

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Apologies for all the incorrect quotations/quoting, can't make it work on my phone today for some reason

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Vaccine passports, please! That’ll get the majority of the safe crowd (the vaccinated) out and about spending their money and helping the economy.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Why does there have to be a campaign anyway? Why can't people just think for themselves about travel and having a holiday? Why can't people in the travel industry think for themselves about reducing prices and advertising special offers?

Babies.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

They just never learn here. Never.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Some of you sound content on staying in your homes...

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I missed being able to skinny dip at the beach yesterday, now that it was 'open' again.

It being October, of course, everyone else was fully covered while I sweltered in Speedos.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Can not deny the evolution.

Open it all up. Allow the G.P. hospitals and medical companies. Medical universities, all these elites.

Let us open it up and put them to the test.

Or Japan will sink and suffer with no tourism. Japanese people are tired of this pandemic and so am I.

I am vaccinated and working on getting in the best shape of my life at 50.

That is it, 2 years in thing. I saw at 3 mark enough is enough. Time to face facts.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

It seems that they are stucking in a time warp or living over and over again a groundhog day.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I meant.

Can not deny the evolution.

Open it all up. Allow the G.P. hospitals and medical companies. Medical universities, all these elites.

Let us open it up and put them to the test.

Or Japan will sink and suffer with no tourism. Japanese people are tired of this pandemic and so am I.

I am vaccinated and working on getting in the best shape of my life at 50.

That is it, 2 years in to this thing. I think at 3 year mark. Enough is enough. Time to face facts.

Life must resume.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Goto Hospital starts again.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

What would have cost your impoverished family 100,000 without the campaign now costs them 50,000. Much more reasonable... No?

No, not reasonable at all, because your impoverished family still has more important things to spend that 50,000 yen on, like food bills, clothes for growing kids, utilities. They’re not the ones gallivanting around the country enjoying their leisure at the taxpayers’ expense.

If you want to help the impoverished families, stop wasting money on perks for the affluent, and reduce taxes on lower-level earners.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

@cleo

Completely irrelevant. Someone in that situation where 50,000 was make or break wouldn't be spending anything in any entertainment industry anywhere.

We are talking about the distribution of those that can spend and want to spend outside their immediate area. There's plenty of people in the country with the money for that, let's encourage them to do so.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Just an observation, but as the domestic tourism pie shrinks due to demographics, I think domestic tourism is also going the way of inbound tourism, i.e., becoming skewed away from the nationwide phenomenon it once was toward high profile sites that resemble oases in a vast desert of nothing. During the Showa period, we would have had inaka city companies doing onsen trips to little onsens in the same prefectures, and millions of schoolkids heading up into the hills to flophouses with baseball fields, archery ranges, tennis courts etc. they could use everyday in summer, that kind of tourism has collapsed and domestic tourism is now about people going to big hitters like Kyoto, Hakone, Okinawa, Kanazawa, Kamakura, Furano, Mt. Fuji, Hoshino Resorts, and TDL, leaving just a handful of adventurous types, folk on motorbikes etc., going to run-down middle-of-nowhere places up in the hills. So the biggest beneficiary of Go To will be central Kyoto, Okinawa, and Disney Resorts. It will barely affect a granny with a minshuku in Yamaguchi.

We used GoTo ourselves only once, and it was a trip to Disney Sea where we stayed at a normally expensive hotel next door. If its half price, the logical thing to do is go somewhere you think is expensive, somewhere you normally cannot afford. It is far more logical and easier than going twice as much to the normal cheap places you would usually go to.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

How about waiting until there's zero new infections? Continue vaccinations, airport restrictions, etc and WAIT.

Covid will eventually recede...

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Covid will eventually recede...

Yes, that is correct, then we can all panic about a new strain of influenza. It will always be something so enjoy your life and be smart about it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Cleo and others,

Dude, y'all mixing up your issues.

This aint about how fair it is that some folk ain't got the dollars to spend. Its about kick starting those with the green to get and start splashing it about a bit.

There is a bit number of people between uber rich and uber poor. Ever heard kid middle class?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Vaccine passports, please!

go scream that in your own country not here in Japan

1 ( +8 / -7 )

So I can travel to another place in Japan that also closes at 8pm and doesn’t let me drink in a restaurant either?

wonderful.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Why? What about people who have already had the disease, symptomatic or otherwise? They're at lower risk of spreading the disease and getting ill than those who are vaccinated.

That is false, there is no evidence that say infected people with few or no symptoms are even as well protected as vaccinated people, much less more than them, specially because there are several vaccines with different degrees of protection. To know how any specific person is protected by his infection serial testing of antibodies would be necessary, this by itself (the repeated blood sampling) is an added risk that can surpass what is observed with vaccines.

You are always saying people should take the vaccine. You even support that people should be forced to take the vaccine.

That is of course false, as easy to prove as you will not be able to quote this from any of my comments. Why do you feel the need to lie to defend your position? is the truth so against it that you have to lower yourself to present false information?

My point is that vaccinating is the logical, rational reason, and that is easy to prove. If someone do not want to vaccinate that is his decision to make, but only as long as this person can accept it is an irrational decision and deal with the consequences of it, the same as many others that you yourself feel are ok.

The benefit and the purpose of the vaccine is, and that is what all your highly admired experts are telling us everyday, is to go back to a normal life!

No, the benefit is to lower the risk both for yourself and for the population. Indirectly, once this risk becomes as low as other infecitous diseases that we deal without need of extra measures, then life can get again closer to normality. Its like getting a blood transfusion so you can survive a surgery that saves your life, the blood itself is not the purpose but a mean to reach that purpose.

So I also don't need a vaccine.

That of course also means you care nothing about public health, the resurgence of variants nor the risk for people that can't be vaccinated or for whom the vaccine is not as effective as for normal people. Saying you don't need the vaccines means you are accepting you don't consider any of those risks (for yourself and others) as important. That is much more validly be called selfish.

Vaccinating means getting closer to reducing the risk of COVID, but it is not a perfect all protective measure that eliminates that risk, it is a step (and a big one) but thinking is a free pass is simply wrong.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Right. Go to spread the corona virus. Have things gotten that dull after the Olympics?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

So many selfish people here. Go ahead and get Coronavirus before spreading it. Selfishly.

Good god.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@RareReason

Completely irrelevant. Someone in that situation where 50,000 was make or break wouldn't be spending anything in any entertainment industry anywhere.

We are talking about the distribution of those that can spend and want to spend

You were the one who brought up the scenario of an impoverished family taking advantage of a 100,000 yen night away for only 50,000, plus 'do their usual eating out and spending'.

Completely irrelevant, I agree; your impoverished family isn't going on any eating out and spending spree, even assuming they could get the time off work.

The GoTo debacle is simply putting money in the hands of those who do not really need it, at the expense of those who cannot afford it.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

We do not need vaccine passports here in Japan. We have the certificate when we were vaccinated. It's enough already.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

How about for foreign travel @zichi? Do you think vaccine passports are needed then??

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The goal of 60 million foreign tourists. Equivalent to half of the population of Japan. Tourism, basically seasonal, means the country will be over-run; while the tourists head to the various corporate structures designed to profit exactly those large entities with a supposed, but non-existent trickle down. Which is a model doomed to either failure or will upend the culture, perhaps both. The culture of Japan is rooted in the local. Not Disneyland - which is all very fine for domestic tourists. It is a one day adventure to the magic kingdom. It causes no harm in its delight.

The observations in kohakuebisu's post - the first paragraph, are illuminating and describe what was and should be once again. Industrial tourism is destructive and should be shifted to a sustainable model. Which of course will not happen under the current state.

GoToTravel, caused a spike in the number of infections and will replicate that happening. A direct cash infusion to all local and regional struggling businesses would be apropos - instead of creating a disease vector. That or restricting its use to local & regional business.

The newly enshrined PM, is simply a continuance of the previous.

Nara. A domestic tourist destination. The proliferation of newly constructed hotels from the high end FUFU & Marriott to such as APA and the robot hotel, depend on a certain 'brand' of tourist. Certainly, FUFU and Marriott have intentionally located their hotels in Nara with the expectation resources will be brought to bear that make their investment profitable. Neither have anything to do with Nara nor was there a clamor by the local population to build such edifices. They are well served by the governor and others who hope to benefit financially. It shifts tourism to the industrial model and GoToTravel will pad their pockets while awaiting an influx of well-heeled Chinese.

The failures of government are celebrated on top as an accomplishment, basically, because it empowers the status quo and creates an illusory advance within a mediated reality. Or simply, our so-called leaders are completely delusional. A party that is almost hereditary is a fossilized machine that no longer, if ever, reflects the common good, mistaking the greater good for their rather fabulist narratives. GoToTravel, is a marker on that path.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The GoTo debacle is simply putting money in the hands of those who do not really need it, at the expense of those who cannot afford it.

I thought the goal was to put the money in the hands of those who need it (struggling local tourism businesses) ,

from the government supplemented by those who can afford it or vice versa

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@cleo

You were the one who brought up the scenario of an impoverished family

No I wasn't, if you read up further in what it was response to. But never mind.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@ian

Today 01:24 pm JST

This!

How come y'all keep jumping to extremes about uber rich?

Get the middle class to start splashing the cash

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This aint about how fair it is that some folk ain't got the dollars to spend. Its about kick starting those with the green to get and start splashing it about a bit.

It ain't about having the dollars to spend at all, it's about having the yen to spend.

Those that have it are going to splash it around anyway - everyone is sick of being stuck at home.

If the hotels, travel companies, etc., want to arrange their own discounts, coupons, whatever, to attract the customers, fine.

The guvmit surely has better things to do with the country's hard-earned taxes.

There is a bit number of people between uber rich and uber poor. Ever heard kid middle class?

Yes, I think I'm probably in there somewhere. I'm neither uber rich nor uber poor. I don't need the guvmint to pay me to go out and enjoy myself, and I also don't need the guvmint to take what I pay in taxes and give to folk who don't need it.

@RareReason:

No I wasn't

mmm, yes you were. The person you were responding to pointed out that a two day one night trip can set you back 100.000, which is out of reach of people for whom 100,000 is a lot of money. You countered with the argument that with GoTo, the impoverished family could get a 100,000 yen trip for only 50,000 yen and that tis was reasonable.

They still can't afford it, and they're still paying taxes for others with fatter purses to go out on the town.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

RareReason: "We are talking about the distribution of those that can spend and want to spend outside their immediate area."

Wow... Cleo's point clearly went over your head but obviously hit the mark. She is bang on, and you proved it, though you didn't intend to.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

They still can't afford it, and they're still paying taxes for others with fatter purses to go out on the town.

If a family can't afford 50,000 yen for a short break than I doubt they are paying much tax at all to fund the elite you despise so much.

But we digress.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Wow... Cleo's point clearly went over your head but obviously hit the mark. She is bang on, and you proved it, though you didn't intend to.

Absolutely not. And you are also failing to separate the points of discussion.

This scheme is intended to revive the tourism and entertainment sector, and to encourage those who have some savings to do so.

It is not giving money to people that don't need it, as is repeatedly quoted.

It is subsidising tourism, which is rather different.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Like a broken record repeating again and again. Suga part deux.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

only "not so smart people" will repeat same mistake over and over again...this is exact case.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If a family can't afford 50,000 yen for a short break than I doubt they are paying much tax at all to fund the elite you despise so much.

They're paying way more proportionally in shohizei for everyday basic essentials. We all need to pay our fair share to fund public services - roads, fire fighting, rubbish collection, police, but why should the poor pay to fund those who, by your own admission, already can spend and want to spend ? If they can spend, then let them spend their own money.

Interesting that we've now jumped from most folk who are not strapped for 50,000 yen, to 'the elite'. Make yer mind up.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

You're quite determined to press the point that poor people can't take advantage of the scheme. That's true.

But you also, like Smith, fail to see this for what it is. It is a subsidy.

Either the government subsidies the industry directly, by tax breaks, cash awards for loss of earnings... etc (which they have already done all of)... or they have the GoTo scheme to get things moving.

The demographic you are outraged in defence of would not see a single yen of either way. That's tough.

But this is far better than directly propping up the tourism industry through tax breaks and cash subsidises.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

RareReason: "The demographic you are outraged in defence of would not see a single yen of either way. That's tough."

They would see a whole lot more money SAVED if they had to pay less on the things cleo mentioned. Or did you miss, for example, the fact that costs for everyday products like meat or things with wheat in it are going up and sizes of said products going down? The money spent on the subsidy for the rich that you support could easily go towards lessening the costs of such products, for example.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I look forward to the Kishida style Go-To-Travel program. I just know this will be dynamic and fun times. Where should we go? Let's go somewhere nice.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yes... But are we not trying to revive the tourism and entertainment sector?

Maybe that part has become forgotten in the discussion.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yes... But are we not trying to revive the tourism and entertainment sector?

Exactly!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

did you miss, for example, the fact that costs for everyday products like meat or things with wheat in it are going up and sizes of said products going down? The money spent on the subsidy for the rich that you support could easily go towards lessening the costs of such products, for example.

Simply cutting consumer tax on food would be a start.

But are we not trying to revive the tourism and entertainment sector?

By giving handouts to those who don't need them?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

By giving handouts to those who don't need them?

Oh come on... Surely you understand the difference by now.

Government sets aside 1,000 yen to help revive a failing hotel.

Either you give the cash directly to the hotel, or you find someone with money and say "tell you what, you spend 2,000 at this hotel and I'll pay 1,000 of it".

Do you see now? No one is putting money in the hands of people that don't need it.

The money is going to the struggling hotel, with some more money spent by a customer, with the scheme as an incentive.

This is very very different from what you label it as. The alternative, giving the hotel 1,000 yen directly to keep them afloat is clearly not as good.

This is no different from subsidies to promote hybrid cars over petrol.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I see that my point has gotten Rare Reason wired up. Look i am at no means poor, wife and I both work and pay close to a million yen in taxes annually. What I was trying to say that domestic tourism is way overpriced here. For example, end of month we were thinking of a trip to Nasu. A run down hotel costs 40.000 for the 4 of us, 2 adults, 2 elementary age kids. Throw in the highway, gas, parking and food/ souvenirs it's too expensive. Why do the hotel's keep their prices so high and don't have their own promotions, vouchers etc. If they fail to lower their prices they don't deserve subsidies with tax money. Japanese hotels are overpriced on national holidays and autumn foliage season. Why do hotels like APA charge so much money while in Tokyo it's only 5000 for the same room? Just don't think a one day trip is worth so much not saying I don't have the money for it

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@nomad

Actually not so much. I disagreed with your earlier comment... But your point is understood. (but quietly, for the record, for a family in Nasu I recommend Nasu Kogen. Check it out. Was on GoTo last time)

Your original point is not being discussed any more. Rather the discussion digressed in to wealth inequality... And even more savings is being suggested now as a remedy to kick start the economy?

Subsidies are being regarded as handouts. It's all got a bit daft.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Genius, Never open the border to International Students, Workers, and Separated Families- and instead promote tourism from within the country! Step 1: Implement a Sakokuish policy, Step 2: ???, Step 3: ???, Step 4: Profit!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@nomad

Oops, name is "Village Nasu Kogen"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No hard feelings, we're all here to give our opinions and lots of us disagree with one another.

By the way, I'll check out the hotel on our dates

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sales tax should be cut on all essential items that we need to live, like food.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

That’s an idea @zichi 4:30pm. Groceries only? And, For how long?

@zichi 4:30pm: “Sales tax should be cut on all essential items that we need to live, like food.”

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Abolishing sales taxes on foodstuffs and other essential items like medicine should be permanent.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I am, sure I am not the only person on this site that used GoToTravel when it was available.

First of all, during the first campaign, tourists spots were not crowded and restaurants neither. Hotels were very thin with patrons, and every venue we went to were super happy. Kind, great service, and excellent food. And oh my, the photo opportunities!

I paid my dues with heavy taxes for years, so I have supported most of the infrastructure that those of you claiming your salaries are low do not.

I did not feel guilty about using the coupons. One issue was that people were scared for the first GoTo but now they will not be and that will cause bottlenecks.

I still see signs all over the country where they accept GoToTravel campaign coupons as long as the city and or prefecture is written on them. So many other cities have been doing their OwnGoToEat campaigns such as Kyoto for example.

I created my own opportunities by studying hard with multiple degrees, working hard, and never complaining about my life, bosses, or my subordinates when I was the boss. I treat and have treated people fairly, and I definitely forgive quickly in confrontations.

The travel industry needs to make changes though. Rooms should have a set cost. The per-person cost is silly and wrong. Where did that all start anyway? No hotel across the globe charges per head. Imagine three hotels next to each other here and one decides to charge for the room rather than per person! It would be packed and cause a Japan-wide revolution.

I am sorry I am what many of you are calling SoCalledPriviledged. Work hard and your chance will come about.

Get Vaccinated.

Aloha

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

And booked a trip to Hawaii again so we will be able to get coupons and use them at the airport as long as we stay overnight/day there before leaving. Double Aloha

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@syzyguyToday  03:48 pm JST

good to know... we're planning on heading to nikko in november to see the autumn colours. unless there are emergency restrictions in place, in which case we'll go to kyoto and take advantage of the minimal crowds.

are masks mandatory on shinkansen? guess i can just hold a drink in my hand at all times like sexy julian from the trailer park boys...

Masks not required. I ride it for many of our trips but everyone puts it on. So few people I remove it when eating and drinking.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

You receive the coupons after you confirm the trip. The coupons which we used 3 times actually are designated for a prefecture and often a city. if you do not use them, then the money does not get to those in need of it, so one must use them to feel good about supporting society.

If you are jealous of those that can use them, then either you made poor choices in the past, or are just angry and selfish.

Just like passing out food to the homeless, the people that get paid with the coupons show true gratitude and are happy to serve.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

{sounds of hands clapping in thunderous applause and support} :

@zichi 4:30 & 5:00pm: [in Japan] - “Sales tax should be cut on all essential items that we need to live, like food. Abolishing sales taxes on foodstuffs and other essential items like medicine should be permanent.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“Sales tax should be cut on all essential items that we need to live, like food. Abolishing sales taxes on foodstuffs and other essential items like medicine should be permanent.

im sure everyone would like that but I don't think the tourism minister will consider it anytime soon

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Think @zichi’s proposals would fall more under purview of the Ministry of Finance than Tourism? @ian 5:46pm: “*im sure everyone would like that but I don't think the tourism minister will consider it anytime soon*”

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From Cleo: The GoTo debacle is simply putting money in the hands of those who do not really need it, at the expense of those who cannot afford it.

@Cleo

No, it does not. It is coupons and not cash. Please try to figure that out. Simple logic.

The coupons are subsidizing those in need, the poor, and people like you. We will be spending money anyway. The coupons help with turning over products dated on shelves etc. Plus what we get with them is shared, even amongst the restaurants and shops we use them at. Smiling is lovely to see. People smile with us and we with them. Stop being so angry at the choices you made yourself.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The daily boasting & contradictions, many times within in the same threads, astound:

“I paid my dues with heavy taxes for years, so I have supported most of the infrastructure that those of you claiming your salaries are low do not.”

“I pay NO taxes.”

“I created my own opportunities by studying hard with multiple degrees, working hard, and never complaining about my life, bosses, or my subordinates when I was the boss. I treat and have treated people fairly, and I definitely forgive quickly in confrontations.

“If you are jealous of those that can use them, then either you made poor choices in the past, or are just angry and selfish.” -

2 ( +4 / -2 )

snowymountainhell

Think @zichi’s proposals would fall more under purview of the Ministry of Finance than Tourism? @ian 5:46pm: im sure everyone would like that but I don't think the tourism minister will consider it anytime soon

It's the cabinet that decides all important issues.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

ShinkansenCaboose

I paid my dues with heavy taxes for years, so I have supported most of the infrastructure that those of you claiming your salaries are low do not.

I am confused. You posted you pay no income tax but the homeless don't. Did you pay American or Japanese taxes?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

it does not. It is coupons and not cash. Please try to figure that out. Simple logic.

It's coupons not cash! Wow! So if I go to the shop and pay for stuff with a credit card, it costs me nothing because it's not cash, it's plastic!

Gosh, if I had your simple logic I'd be a millionaire.

The guvmint gives people coupons.

Those people take the coupons and use them (like money) to pay for accommodation/meals/souvenirs/transport.

The guvmint reimburses the hotels/shops/restaurants (with money) for the discount they gave on the coupons.

How is that not putting money in the hands of people who don't need it?

The coupons are subsidizing those in need, the poor, and people like you

Pardon? Who exactly is people like me? I'm not in need, not poor, when I feel the time is right for me to travel I don't need any handouts from the guvmint, thank you very much.

Stop being so angry at the choices you made yourself.

I'm angry at taxpayer money being shovelled at folk who don't need it. No choice there that I can see?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Understood @zichi 6:42pm: It's the cabinet that decides all important issues.” … and, heavily controlled by the older members of the ruling party?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Still doesn’t see it, does he? @cleo 7:11pm - Cut & dried’, it’s governments subsidizing businesses with monies from middle-class taxpayers so those that can afford time-off work & travel can enjoy themselves even more. - Elitists tout ‘benefits to ALL’, often under the guises of ‘altruism & philanthropy’ in effort to justify their narcissism & selfishness. - Maybe they’ll make more of an impact if they start referring to us as “You people…”?

@5:56pm: Please try to figure that out. Simple logic. The coupons are subsidizing those in need, the poor, and people like you. We will be spending money anyway. Stop being so angry at the choices you made yourself. ” -
1 ( +3 / -2 )

Abolishing sales taxes on foodstuffs and other essential items like medicine should be permanent.

And what spending will accordingly be cut too? Or you’d just run up the deficit another trillion yen?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

fxgai

Abolishing sales taxes on foodstuffs and other essential items like medicine should be permanent.

And what spending will accordingly be cut too? Or you’d just run up the deficit another trillion yen?

23% of government money goes to just servicing the national debt.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

How about NOT restarting it? How about the simple fact that most people had no major financial loss during all of this because they work in "good" industries and have salaries that can afford not taking tax-payer funding to subsidize their travel? How about the fact that if things are back to normal, people WANT to travel and WANT to eat out and WANT to have a normal life and WANT to make up for lost time?

Why is this country so insanely obsessed with trying to abuse its citizens as much as possible? How much socialism is too much socialism? The debt here is absolutely criminal yet NO ONE CARES. The healthcare and pension system are edging closer to insolvency yet NO ONE CARES. The LDP continues to do this decade after decade yet NO ONE CARES.

How about instead of the government WASTING money it starts to act responsibly? How is it even morally sound to subsidize the travel and eating expenses of rich people who can AFFORD to travel when POOR people who were impacted by the SOEs got shafted by the one-time payout last year all because the LDP was worried if it gave the poor more and the rich none, it would be decimated in the next election.

I just don't understand this country and the idiocy with its finances. Consumption tax increasing? Offer subsidization/cash back. WHY raise the tax to begin with then? Tons of financing for "bridges to nowhere". TONS of financing to tear up roads and sidewalks for the 10th time this millennium while the elevated expressways in Tokyo are just one or two earthquakes away from collapsing.

Seriously does anyone actually care about how this country spends tax money? Does anyone actually care about what is going to happen in 5-10 years? 15-20?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

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