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In response to the pandemic, Japan suspends travel subsidies

Belgium and Netherlands found multiple cases of mutant COVID-19 infection

Japan suspends travel subsidies in response to the pandemic

According to the latest statistics from Japan’s NHK TV station, Japan has 47 new deaths from COVID-19 on the 14th, tying the record for the number of new deaths in a single day set on the 8th, with a total of 2,649 deaths and a total of 182,305 confirmed cases. 

In view of the continuing deterioration of the pandemic, the Japanese government announced on the evening of the 14th that it will suspend travel subsidy programs aimed at encouraging consumption nationwide.

According to a report from the Asahi Shimbun on the 15th, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that from the 28th of this month to January 11th next year, the country will suspend the “go trip” tourism subsidy program, and the government will compensate the operators for some of the losses.

In order to revitalize the economy and stimulate consumption, the Japanese government launched the “GO TO” series of subsidy programs in July, which included four major projects including “Go Travel”, with a total budget of 1.7 trillion yen to subsidize domestic travel and Coupons for local restaurants and souvenir shops. 

According to the report, as the pandemic situation in Japan has continued to worsen recently, government experts and some people in the medical community have called for adjustment or suspension of the project.

However, the Japanese government once emphasized that “no evidence has been found to prove that the spread of Coronavirus is related to the project.” NHK TV quoted a Japanese government source as saying that the Japanese government’s attitude is now reversed and the “to travel” project has been halted.

It is the recent public opinion that has played a role. A poll released by NHK TV on the 14th showed that 12% of the respondents believed that the “trip” project “should continue”, while 79% of the respondents believed that “should stop immediately.”

Japanese media reported that due to the weak response to Coronavirus pandemic, the support rate of Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet has also declined. According to a poll released by NHK TV on the 14th, the approval rate of Yoshihide Suga’s cabinet was 42%, a decrease of 14 percentage points from the previous month, and the disapproval rate was 36%, an increase of 17 percentage points from the previous month.

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