(Fighting against New Coronary Pneumonia) Japan’s epidemic recurs, government tourism stimulus policy causes controversy
China News Service, Tokyo, November 22 (Reporter Lu Shaowei) According to the statistics of the Japan Broadcasting Association (NHK), 2596 new cases of new coronary pneumonia were newly diagnosed in Japan on the 21st, setting a new single-day record for 4 consecutive days. In the context of the increasingly severe epidemic, the tourism stimulus policy previously implemented by the Japanese government has caused more controversy.
In order to support the domestic tourism and catering industries that have been hit hard by the epidemic, the Japanese government has previously launched related subsidy activities “Go To Travel” (to travel) and “Go To Eat” (to eat) to encourage travel and dining. People who participate in the event can get travel fee reductions and consumption coupons.
Due to the large amount of subsidies, the people who participated are in an endless stream. However, with the implementation of the activity, it has been reported that many people contracted new coronary pneumonia while participating in the project, and even collective infections occurred one after another.
In response, Toshio Nakagawa, president of the Japanese Medical Association, said that although there is no conclusive evidence that the tourism subsidy policy is the direct cause of the rebound of the epidemic, there is no doubt that it has a lot to do with it.
Ozaki Haruo, president of the Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Association, said that the increase in people’s travel is likely to have an impact on the spread of the epidemic, and he hopes that the government will suspend tourism subsidies. Regarding eating out, he said that while taking preventive measures, he should also reduce the frequency of eating out.
Starting on the 21st, Japan has opened three consecutive holidays. The government has also vigorously called for avoiding high-risk infection scenarios and paying attention to protection. However, bustling commercial streets and sightseeing spots in various places are still overcrowded. Beginning on the 21st, many high-speed main roads have experienced traffic jams for tens of kilometers. In addition, the number of people travelling by Shinkansen and airplanes has also increased significantly.
At the same time, Hokkaido and other areas where the epidemic has spread rapidly have called on local people to reduce going out, and in the face of crowds of foreign tourists, local people have also complained. Many people have posted messages on the Internet saying that foreign tourists bring more risks, which will make the already severe epidemic worse. Visitors who visited said that “the trip has already been booked. If you cancel it, you will lose a large default fee, so you have to come.” Some tourists are optimistic that “as long as protection is done, there is not much risk”.
Originally, many people thought that the government used taxes to subsidize the event, which was unfair to those who did not want to or could not participate. As soon as this policy came out, there were many doubts. In the face of the rapid spread of the epidemic, the controversy has been amplified a lot.
On the afternoon of the 21st, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga held a special meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence, stating that the government will suspend travel subsidy policies targeted at areas where the epidemic is spreading rapidly, and will ask the governors of prefectures to discuss the suspension of catering coupons. It is reported that relevant departments of the Japanese government are urgently discussing when, where and how to suspend the policy.
Regarding the subsidy activity, Japan’s Minister of Economic Rebirth Yasuhiro Nishimura revealed on the NHK TV program on the 22nd that in addition to suspending new appointments in severely affected areas, the government will also explore how to deal with the issue of cancellation fees, how to carry out and how to do it. To what extent, the Tourism Agency is urgently studying. (Finish)