Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will chair a coronavirus meeting today and could further restrict a travel subsidy programme in an effort to contain mounting infections in the country.
Mr. Suga may temporarily halt the travel campaign to the capital Tokyo and the city of Nagoya, the large industrial hub of Aichi prefecture, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The Go To Travel campaign, aimed at boosting regional economies and helping hotels and airlines, has been effective to some extent in stimulating demand for tourism, government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told a news conference.
But while the government aims to promote economic activity, it also wants to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Kato added. That balance depends on the situation in each region, he said, without elaborating further.
While Japan has not seen the kind of massive outbreaks that have hit the United States and parts of Europe, infections have worsened as winter has set in, particularly in regions such as the northern island of Hokkaido and the city of Osaka.
The country saw more than 3,000 new infections for the first time in one day on Saturday and Tokyo, Japan’s capital and largest city, confirmed 621 new cases.