Source Title: Japan intends to suspend consumption encouragement policy due to severe epidemic
Japan has more than 2500 new confirmed cases of new crowns on the 21st, setting a new record for the highest number of new cases in a single day for 4 consecutive days. The government announced on the same day that it would partially suspend the subsidy policy that encourages travel and dining to curb the epidemic.
According to statistics from the Japan Broadcasting Association TV station, Japan added 2,560 confirmed cases on the 21st, a new high since the outbreak. Among them, the capital Tokyo added 539 cases, breaking the single-day record of 534 cases set on the 19th. On the 21st, 415 new cases were confirmed in the western Osaka Prefecture, which also set a single-day record.
Later on the 21st, the Japanese government held a headquarter meeting on COVID-19 response at the Prime Minister’s residence. After the meeting, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that the government will suspend travel subsidies to areas where the epidemic is spreading rapidly, and will ask prefectural governors to consider stopping the issuance of catering coupons.
However, Yoshihide Suga did not say when the above subsidy policy would be suspended, nor did he delineate the area where subsidies will no longer be provided.
In order to support the domestic tourism and catering industries that have been hit by the epidemic, the Japanese government previously launched “Go To Travel” and “Go To Eat” activities to halve accommodation fees and provide catering coupons for consumers .
Due to the recent rebound of the epidemic, the Japanese government’s epidemic response team recommended on the 20th that governments at all levels adjust the above subsidy policies to reduce the flow of people and reduce the risk of infection.
Toshio Nakagawa, president of the Japanese Medical Association, said that although there is no conclusive evidence that the subsidy policy that encourages consumption is the direct cause of the rebound of the epidemic, “it is definitely a catalyst.”
Ozaki Haruo, president of the Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Association, said that the increase in people’s travel is “probably” one of the reasons for the spread of the epidemic, so he suggested that the government suspend the “Go To” subsidy activities.
In the face of expert appeals, Yoshihide Suga denied on the 20th that he planned to suspend subsidy activities, but he obviously changed his mind and announced on the 21st that such activities would be partially suspended.
Some people in Japan are dissatisfied with the cancellation of subsidies. An Osaka citizen who was traveling in Kyoto complained to a Kyodo News reporter: “People who travel do not know what rules to follow. The government decides anything and it takes too long.”
According to Xinhua News Agency