Local businesses left in limbo as Japan's politicians squabble over Go To Travel campaign
Japan Times -- Dec 02
A political cacophony persists as lawmakers clash over who has the final say in peeling back countermeasures meant to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

By leaning on prefectural governors to determine whether travel and dining subsidies should be suspended in their area, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is delegating responsibility — or accountability — to local leaders, many of whom are calling on the central government to take charge of national programs.

On the other hand, Suga’s shift in policy amounts to an implicit acknowledgement on the government’s part that the pandemic is, in many ways, a regional issue best dealt with by regional leaders.

The oscillating tension has produced a state of uncertainty in those industries, for which local businesses are paying the price.

“Hotels, travel agencies and other local businesses hoping to get a boost from these programs will bear the brunt of the cost,” said Yasushi Aoyama, a professor of political science at the Meiji University Graduate School of Governance who served as Tokyo’s vice governor from 1999 to 2003.

“The confusion among lawmakers is making the future even more unpredictable,” he said. “Meanwhile, business owners are left in limbo.”

News source: Japan Times
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