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Friday 15 July 2022

New blow to Japan's tourism industry

Japan's struggling tourism industry has been dealt another Covid blow.

A plan to start a tourism subsidy program has again been shelved due to rising Covid infections.

“We concluded that now is not the time to start the nationwide subsidy program,” said tourism minister Tetsuo Saito.

He said the government will assess the spread of infections and hospitalisations before deciding when the scheme will start.

“There were strong expectations among those involved in the tourism and transportation sector for the national discount program,” Saito said.

“But considering the infection situation, we had no choice but to postpone.

“We’ll implement the program as soon as the infection situation improves,”

A separate subsidy program allowing people to travel within their own prefecture or within specific regional areas will continue, Travel Mole reported.

The latest wave of Covid is the Omicron variant known as BA.5, and all 47 prefectures have reported increases in cases.

The number of new cases in the week to July 12 has doubled.

The government said there are no plans yet to impose any restrictions on activities.

While the country has reopened its borders to tourists on guided group tours, it’s still not open to independent travellers. |

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