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Gov't to exclude trips by Tokyo residents from Go To campaign

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Seems like the whole Go To Travel scheme is going to Go To somewhere, but it ain't heaven.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Stay home!

11 ( +22 / -11 )

Trips by residents of Tokyo and journeys to and from the capital will be ineligible for the government's subsidy program, which will begin on Wednesday in a bid to spur domestic travel, tourism minister Kazuyoshi Akaba told reporters.

Just Tokyo residents? They should just suspend the whole initiative for the time being

Yukio Edano, who heads the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said it is not the right time to promote tourism.

YES! Whichever side you're on with this pandemic, it still has no cure and is remotely fatal, cases are still rising globally, and non-essential industries should unfortunately be the last to reopen. We all want to travel but would you rather scratch that travel itch or risk getting sick along with people you care about.

15 ( +21 / -6 )

So Tokyo folk enjoy the double whammy of extra virus and no holidays.

1 ( +14 / -13 )

I see this campaign going to the same place the "Premium Friday" campaign went...

13 ( +14 / -1 )

...some travelers could stay in the outskirts of Tokyo while making day trips into the city.

Pretty convienent that Tokyo Disney is actually loacted just over the border in Chiba.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

So in addition to being poorly timed and contrary to public health, we can now add arbitrarily unfair to the list of problems with this program.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

The amount of cancellations is skyrocketong according to the news.

Good that I didn't go through any of those travelling agencies and opted out from the campaign.

Kagoshima and Hokkaido, here I come!

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

This does not mean people are banned from traveling to and from Tokyo. They just can not receive government's campaign subsidies. But if they spread COVID-19, they will be socially punished.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

There's a change.org campaign to get the government to cancel the Go To campaign completely. Currently has over 110,000 signatures.

No idea how effective a petition like this is especially in Japan but it's quick and easy to sign.

http://chng.it/VmQzVwTBvK

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The Japanese government should STOP WASTING TIME ON SUCH STUPIDITY and do what really needs to be done to get Japan back up on its feet.

Assume the Olympics are cancelled!

Increase virus testing in order to map out where the virus is coming from and going to.

Reduce travel in/out of virus hot spots.

Close all nightclubs, bars and any places where one can't keep 2 metres spacing.

Keep border closed to all BUT Japanese and landed immigrants. If you must travel out, you must have non-public transport home and stay home for 14 days. No support plan and you stay in government approved location at you own cost.

Make incentives to move business models for companies that can be 'remote run' available.

Get all businesses OUT OF CHINA. Those days are done. If you didn't learn the lesson, you deserve to lose your company and intelectual property. The CCP can NEVER be trusted.

Stop wasting money on making people spend money. Spend the money on cleaning up Fukushima, and recently flooded areas first.
12 ( +18 / -6 )

Read the story people! It is an incentive program to promote tourism, but people traveling to and from Tokyo are INELIGIBLE to apply for the money.

There is nothing stopping people from traveling anywhere they want, spreading their Civid juices everywhere, including to and from Tokyo.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

I think there are a few folk on here, bless them, who won’t be happy until we Tokyoites are put in strait jackets and chained to the wall in an anti-viral Super Max. Good morning!

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Kagoshima and Hokkaido, here I come!

@Jax Good to see you doing your part since: Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has called on residents to avoid nonessential travel to other prefectures.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The amount of cancellations is skyrocketong according to the news.

Good that I didn't go through any of those travelling agencies and opted out from the campaign.

Kagoshima and Hokkaido, here I come!

Stay away! It's not essential. This is really selfish.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Koike is a great Gov. Wow. Amazingly brilliant. Wow. Wow...

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Beyond satire. I am actually losing my sense of humor about the whole thing. CANCEL the stupid scheme, IMPOSE travel restrictions NOW.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Another typical non decision by a clueless government.

Osaka, Chiba, Kanagawa have a similar number of cases to Tokyo if compared with local populations.

And the whole scheme is just an excuse to support 2 other old boys network companies, JTB and JAL.

Dentsu gets its part through the advertising part of the campaign no doubt.

Abe can not afford to cancel the whole thing as it would be in his and Aso’s eyes another loss of face, so they prefer more infections over another political defeat.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

splendid! This year souvenir will be "corona-chan"!

yes, we can't leave Tokyo in corona alone, Osaka is getting good numbers too...let's spread love and corona!

and folks, don't forget: "you are responsible for your own health" latest statement by J. gov.

...☺

7 ( +8 / -1 )

robert- very well said!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@knowbetter Thank you! Glad I'm not the only person who feels that way. ABE Inc. is only interested in political and financial gain. They should be ordering lockdown and restricted movement. Essential to and from home travel only and NO entertainment venues if any kind.

Oh and France has also just announced a plan to make it compulsory to wear masks in enclosed public spaces.

Similar measures are being taken in other parts of Europe.

The British government plans to make it mandatory for people to wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets in England from July 24.

When is Japan going to force people to do the same?!

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

You guys realize this site is visited by so few Japanese people that the comment section is basically just and echo room for gaijin voices? A lot of you make excellent points, but we're screaming right into a wall right now. Sadly there's not much we can do to make our voices heard, and even if we were to pull that off, I doubt anyone would really care about what we have to say.

All we can do for now is to put our money towards smart incentives and local businesses, and ignore the cringy campaigns with weird names. Oh, and like, not die/infect others too, I guess.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Simian LaneToday  07:34 am JST

I think there are a few folk on here, bless them, who won’t be happy until we Tokyoites are put in strait jackets and chained to the wall in an anti-viral Super Max. Good morning!

This made me laugh. You describe it so well!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Takara

and folks, don't forget: "you are responsible for your own health" latest statement by J. gov.

I wonder why some people would ever assume that the government or the others should be responsible for their health. The government is responsible for providing health care to those who enrol in the health care insurance system but beyond that it is everybody’s personal responsibility to take care of their own health.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@JaneM2

not at all... that's not the point.

i do believe I am responsible for my health as everybody else.

what I do not like is stupid travel campaign that is putting people in risk and saying we are washing hands. You are responsible...That's ridiculous, don't you think so?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Good that I didn't go through any of those travelling agencies and opted out from the campaign.Kagoshima and Hokkaido, here I come!

Are you in Tokyo? If not, it doesn't matter if you went through a travel agency. Keep the receipts and submit the paperwork after.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Close all nightclubs, bars and any places where one can't keep 2 metres spacing."

Are you going to pay the necessary compensation? Because the government sure as hell won't.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Abe can not afford to cancel the whole thing as it would be in his and Aso’s eyes another loss of face, so they prefer more infections over another political defeat."

Yeah, can agree with this

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What they should do is scrap this garbage and pay their nurses!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Kagoshima and Hokkaido, here I come!

@Jax Good to see you doing your part since: Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has called on residents to avoid nonessential travel to other prefectures

@hooktrunk2

Did you just assume my gen.. Genzaibasho?

I don't live in Tokyo. Hence the Koike plea don't apply to my humble self.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Takara

it is not just about washing hands. It is about social distancing, masks, environment disinfection in the eating, sleeping and other facilities, etc. Just yesterday a member of the very conservative Ishigakkai (Japan Medical Association) said on TV that if you don’t go to closed crowded spaces and observe personal hygiene the chances of contracting the virus while traveling are close to zero.

It is stunning how so very few people understand that without the movement of people (which is essentially travel) the economy gets more and more stagnated and the chances of any recovery only get minimised even further.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Bureaucrats as usual first creating a problem by utilizing the ideas of their bright minds and trying to solve it by adding more regulations and workarounds. Pretty much similar to the plan of having Olympics in Summer.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Again the panic, without anyone asking if its really necessarily to bankrupt tourism and service industry over this virus.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Initially, this campaign was due to start in August or September. So many already booked their trip for the 4 days off next week, without thinking about this stuff. The place I wanted to go is fully booked since a while as many other places I have checked.

I am not sure cancellation are skyrocketing because of that but rather by people who get more scared about the virus

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All the confusions arise from the fact that today's science cannot control virus oriented epidemics. We have to wait vaccines for one or two years until many die. We have to rely on an only prevention method of staying away from the contracted. This is a time old passive measure to avoid infections. We have nuclear weapons, super computers and can send people to space but they are of no use. Studies about viruses must be hastened.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just copying my comment across from another Go To Travel article

Has anyone concerned about the campaign thought about just booking out hotel rooms and claiming the cost back anyway? That would stop people travelling even if the government didn't do anything to stop it

The planes are filtering the air and doing lots of other checks apparently. It's probably safer than a train where there's nothing of the sort

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's reasonable to start by traveling locally or across neighboring prefectures where the virus is under control. Many of Japan's prefectures especially away from Tokyo have remained in good shape for long.

GoTo is not, shouldn't be a simple trade-off between economic recovery or public health. Both seemingly conflicting goals can still be attained if the campaign is re-designed in a way that an incentive arises among people to make an (collective) effort to curb the virus spread. As Tokyo has so far failed, it doesn't deserve rewards.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"As Tokyo has so far failed, it doesn't deserve rewards."

Ah, because nightlife workers were tested. Koike knew what she was doing when she singled them out to be scapegoats.

Abe looks bad, she gets to look good. Next step, PM perhaps?

The tests found what was already there. The virus is already widespread in the population.

Do we need to seal ourselves in a bubble and wait for the zombie apocalypse though? Not necessarily

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Again the panic, without anyone asking if its really necessarily to bankrupt tourism and service industry over this virus.

Exactly. The numbers are always skewed to make the situation look worse than it really is. The WHO and the media have created such a panic with voters around the globe that governments and organizations have to pander to this panic to stay relevant.

The Gates Foundation will be cashing in on this with their miracle vaccine.

Just wondering if anyone here has the wherewithal to ask themselves if this strain of coronavirus has been around far longer than reported?

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/health/coronavirus-spain.html

Really sad state of affairs. It's hardly 'conspiracy theory' when you have chief medical officers speaking against popular narrative. On the contrary, considering the popular narrative to be Bible is more akin to conspiracy theory when so many parts of the story don't add up:

https://off-guardian.org/2020/07/02/no-one-has-died-from-the-coronavirus-president-of-the-bulgarian-pathology-association/

It's time for the media to open the narrative out to scrutiny... SOS!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

With the tourism industry in such a bad state, I think a better idea is to leave it up to the accommodation providers etc to decide whether they will accept tourists during the pandemic. They need all the support they can get. The Japanese social distance better than anyone else, with extra precaution in place, I support this program.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think they should just sell tickets for transport, accommodation and activities now, and allow people to use them later. But banning Tokyo is at least better than nothing...

It does seem kind of too late though. I live in a tourist city (Hakodate), and many shops and restaurants have already closed down. So unless people want to rent an empty shop, not sure how they can help.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wonder how they are going to enforce this .... no travelling from and to Tokyo!

Check license plates? Check residents cards and driver licenses? Face recognition devices? Hotels checking whether or not you're from Tokyo?

This whole campaign was a failure from the beginning!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Exactly. The numbers are always skewed to make the situation look worse than it really is. The WHO and the media have created such a panic with voters around the globe that governments and organizations have to pander to this panic to stay relevant."

Precisely. I'll be headed off for a research trip for my writing next month, while taking reasonable precautions. If people want to wall themselves in, they are most welcome.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So, you can still travel to and from Tokyo, you just can’t get the government subsidy. Most o’bon travelers visit and stay with their parents, so it will make very little difference. Let’s wait for all the hot spots popping all over the country after this debarked has ended.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This campaign seems pretty stupid if your bread and butter is not in the domestic tourism industry. If it is then the campaign might sound like you still have a future of some kind.

But what matters is the number of dead and people in intensive care from the virus. I cannot explain why Japan is so different from America, but clearly, it is, and so Japanese people can do things differently. Remember, every single one of us have had a corona virus at some point in our lives and we just shrugged it off because it was not killing people. Well, its not killing off swathes of Japanese so you have to take that into consideration.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What an idiotic plan. I'm pretty sure this will not stop people from hopping in their cars and going wherever. Summer is here, beaches beckon and people are going to go regardless (images of hundreds of would-be surfers trying to catch the same 1 foot ripple are hilarious BTW).

Japan needs a set of balls, lock the whole place down FFS, increase testing and show us the real numbers.

Its about time the government started showing those of us some respect who have been trying very hard to protect ourselves and others by adhering to our own common sense...by getting strict on this, pass legislation, impose regulations and grow some balls

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This has to be placed in the context that tourism is the only game in town for some places in inaka.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This doesn't stop anything. You can still travel from Tokyo to anywhere. And vice versa. Just no discounts.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

We used to have a saying "Utsuseba Naoru." If you have a disease, you will be cured by infecting others. The saying was used with venereal diseases in old Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Very good point, @vanityofvanities. And especially that last part, about social punishment, which can be our saving grace, regardless of what happens with this tourism campaign. But especially if it is still implemented, it will be a big saving grace.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@JaneM2

nah, economy all over the globe is failing right now. But no where in the world have campaign to ''go to and spread it" especially if the numbers are getting higher recently. choosing money over health? Deeply disagree. Sorry.

yes, symptoms are mild but no-one really know what possible damage you may have after it's cured. I am talking about health impact in future. You can do all of you mentioned above and still catch it BUT why to make the possibility even higher?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Penalize Tokyo for being bad, and not following the unspoken rules.

Anyway, wonder what they're going to say once everywhere else starts seeing a growing number of infections ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I was listening to NHK's report on the detection methods being used at Hotels participating in this new program.... they'll take visitors temperatures.... hmm. If you have Covid-19 and have a temperature - you're really not going to be wanting to go travelling anywhere, so I'd really be interested in how many actual cases of COVID-19 that this form of testing has picked up ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Trips by residents of Tokyo and journeys to and from the capital will be ineligible for the government's subsidy program...

So all a Tokyo resident would need to do would be ‘officially’ start the trip just outside of Tokyo, and someone wishing to go to Tokyo would have to make sure to book any ‘official’ tickets to just before Tokyo - and make extra arrangements for just the Tokyo parts.

It took me less than 10 seconds to see that potential loophole.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

noriahojanenToday  10:36 am JST

GoTo is not, shouldn't be a simple trade-off between economic recovery or public health. Both seemingly conflicting goals can still be attained if the campaign is re-designed in a way that an incentive arises among people to make an (collective) effort to curb the virus spread. As Tokyo has so far failed, it doesn't deserve rewards.

The goals are conflicting only seemingly. If you don’t go to closed crowded spaces, maintain your personal hygiene and observe the three Cs, your risk of infection is minimal.

Hmmm, as for Tokyo’s failure... with all due respect, I disagree. The number of infections is growing please do compare the yesterday’s number to the number of inhabitants a huge part of whom commute in crowded trains and work in shared offices every day.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“Its about time the government started showing those of us some respect who have been trying very hard to protect ourselves and others by adhering to our own common sense...by getting strict on this, pass legislation, impose regulations and grow some balls”

A little problem called money. More payouts will be needed, which won’t happen.

Thus more bankrupt, miserable people.

You’re welcome to protect yourself as you see fit

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My 2020 Summer plan is "Escape From Tokyo" starring reckless...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Virus does not stop at Tokyo borders once one cluster cold not be severed.

It is a fantasy thinking that you discriminate people to achieve health goal.

Apparently, virus prefers summer than spring.

Consequence of just a bit more testing every day done.

No one noticed the progression of virus cases was linear (7 day moving average), which is statistically nearly impossible to get for a population in "open air".

Like under control...

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/japan/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

With 293 news cases in Tokyo today (Friday) the border should be locked in.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

JaneM2

Just yesterday a member of the very conservative Ishigakkai (Japan Medical Association) said on TV that if you don’t go to closed crowded spaces and observe personal hygiene the chances of contracting the virus while traveling are close to zero.

It would be better for your own sake not to believe any expert on T.V and base judgement on it. Everybody is scared of speaking their minds in this country. If there is one thing to get from this virus is that the so called experts who appear on T.V have failed woefully, they are so scared they can't call a spade a spade.

You can still catch the virus in less crowded places, or when wearing a mask through surface contact to name a few supermarket cart and baskets, self service gas pumps, ticket machines at stations, escalator rails, elevator buttons, door knobs. The places are indefinite.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Noriahojanen

It's reasonable to start by traveling locally or across neighboring prefectures where the virus is under control.

Can you name a few prefectures where the virus is under control as well as data to back it up ?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Japanese government (and global government in general) must stop being pressured by fear mongers, and start looking at the reality of the situation.

I know it is politically unpopular, and people at this point in time will celebrate any measure, no matter how draconian or useless if it gives the look of doing something "against the virus", but the reality of the matter is that, if we continue to push this narrative that all that matters is the number of infections, not only we will be here for a long ride, but also most of the measures will be meaningless and probably do more harm than good.

The reality is, and this is the science of the virus, for most people this virus is nothing.

There is a very good article about the reality on the virus toxicity, and stages of infection of the virus at

https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/363402

As this article explains, a coronavirus isn't like influenza, and most people will not even develop influenza like symptoms. If any symptom is developed, it will be very very mild.

Even those who do get hospitalized because of wide range of symptoms (like a bad flu), will not develop any problems beyond that.

The real problem of this virus has to do with some of the severe cases, which in the case of Japan is 1 in 10000 to 25000, will develop what is known as a "cytokine storm", or an extreme reaction from the inmune system, which has a very high mortality rate.

It is yet not known all of the triggers of the cytokine storm, but age is a big component to it. The older someone is, there is a higher risk to develop a cytokine storm, and therefore die.

This is what has been killing a lot of people in nursing homes around the world, which is also one of the reasons why Japan is doing "good" in mortality terms, since for the most part, there hasn't been very big outbreaks at nursing homes, unlike in places like the UK.

There is also very clear a difference in the innate immunity to the virus between Japan and some countries in the West, which explains why even thou we should be seeing higher seroprevalence numbers in the Japanese population, we don't, because most people who are getting infected do not even need to create antibodies to fight the virus, which is in sharp contrast with places like NY that have shown high seroprevalence numbers.

We need to focus on vulnerable people, since they are at a higher risk of developing a severe form of COVID-19, but this constant pushing on just pure infection numbers, really do not help with that, only creates anxiety in the population, and measures taken to avoid these low risk infections will create way more harm.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tokyo victim of doing the right thing that is increasing testing.

The hunter becomes the hunted ,Tokyo scapegoating shinjiku ikebukuro nightlife and the government scapegoating Tokyo for having higher infection.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Luis Yanez, thanks for the extra long explanation. In a nutshell, more positive cases = more vulnerable die. We could do without unqualified opinions plus you contradict your argument. Because the more you open up this virus to asymptomatic carriers the more you spread it to the vulnerable who die. We are passing it among ourselves. That simple.

Out of interest, have you contracted Covid-19 yourself? Because if not you have no right to publish symptoms and effects of it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

TigersTokyoDome

I would recommend you to read the actual article (if you can read Japanese) before doing these criticism, since some of the things you say are actually addressed in the article.

Also, it isn't my opinion, I was just making a simple synopsis of the article, for those who cannot read Japanese.

As the article puts it, if we divide the type of infection in 7 different stages, the rate of infection is also different. For example, people in stage 0-3 (who are asymptomatic for the most part), are way less likely to spread the virus because of the simple reason that they have a low viral load.

The article also explains how vulnerable groups in Japan have actually took good measures for the most part to prevent infection, which once again shows that focusing efforts in this groups is the most relevant.

Please read the article ;)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

”exclude Tokyo” is not enough.

Infection already expanded to neighboring prefectures of Tokyo.

Many hospitals of Japan are in financial crisis, cannot even improve working environment of medical staff. Even supply of medical mask or disinfectant are still insufficient in Japan.

Medical staff of hospitals and welfare facilities in Japan cannot get virus test periodically despite essential workers, cannot yet decrease risk nosocomial infection.

And Covid19 next wave has come into Japanese society. 

But Japanese stupid Abe Govt prioritize to use 1.7 trillion yen for this insane campaign than improvement of medical resource.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Drlucifer

Yes, that’s why regular hand washing and hand sanitising are said to be highly effective.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

AgentX

When we think back, and with the information we have now that the virus was first reported to WHO (after a significant delay) in the end of September, it is reasonable to conclude that the virus has been on the Japanese archipelago at least since January. We all lived through it, unknowingly, since it was before the beginning of the media frenzy. Many people with mild cold-like symptoms just got through their colds without much worry. I had a cold in late February with light fever and some symptoms similar to those of COVID. Didn’t need a doctor, stayed at home and recovered in less than a week. No way to tell if it was or wasn’t COVID now, though.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tamara,

In the first place, the state of emergency was never imposed to eradicate the virus. It was put in place to protect the health care system from bursting by flattening the curve. Due to the nature of this virus, it is unrealistic to think that it will disappear if we stay at home. It didn’t happen in Japan neither did it happen in some European countries with total lock downs. The numbers are growing everywhere, not only in Japan. Europe is seeing an increase but the EU has lifted restrictions on travel this month.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Jax

Did you just assume my gen.. Genzaibasho?

Actually I did, considering it was an article about Tokyo residents. I am envious. Enjoy your trip and be safe!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

janeM2

Don't you see the difference?

a) lift restriction means go back to normal

and

b) making travel campaign when numbers are getting higher

btw I came from Europe and the restrictions you are talking about weren't even applied in Japan.

We had people arrested, fined and tested almost everyone. People in my country made masks and desinfections for not only their families but also for nurses, policemen, shop assistants, drivers.

and if you did read latest article it says is not for young and old folks so I really don't know what kind of economic profit you are expecting.

campaign is good but timing is bad. period.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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