Japan's travel campaign may partially resume after emergency lifted

Kyodo -- Feb 26
Japan will consider resuming its subsidy program aimed at promoting domestic tourism only in some parts of the country even if the current state of emergency over the novel coronavirus is completely lifted, tourism minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said Thursday.

The idea of potentially restarting the "Go To Travel" campaign comes as Japan has decided to end its second state of emergency for five prefectures west of the Tokyo metropolitan area at the end of this month as the number of coronavirus infections is no longer considered dire.

The five prefectures are Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi and Gifu, officials said, adding that the plan will be finalized by the government's task force on measures against the virus on Friday after hearing opinions from health experts.

Fukuoka also asked the government to exclude the southwestern prefecture from the list, but no decision has been made, with some medical experts pointing to the need to further assess the situation as the hospital bed occupancy rate remains high.

Japan's second state of emergency was first declared for a month on Jan. 7 and later extended to March 7. Unlike the first one last spring, it only covered the Tokyo metropolitan area and some other areas of the country that saw a resurgence of infections.

The government has also yet to decide whether to end the emergency for Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama on March 7, according to the officials.

- Kyodo












- ANNnewsCH