Japanese tourism minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said Friday that the government will include trips to and from Tokyo in its Go To Travel tourism promotion program from October 1.
The inclusion will be formally decided after the government hears opinions from experts at a meeting on Friday.
The program to boost tourism demand through state-subsidized incentives started on July 22, covering all domestic trips excluding those to and from Tokyo. It provides discounts equivalent to 35 pct of the travel costs.
The planned inclusion will come after the Tokyo metropolitan government Thursday lowered its coronavirus alert in the four-tier warning system by one notch to the second-highest level.
Akaba told a news conference Friday that the Go To Travel program “is originally meant to cover the entire country.”
He declined a request from Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike that extra subsidies be made available for trips from and to the Japanese capital.
Such a measure would be “difficult as the program is implemented under uniform national rules,” Akaba said.
The government is also scheduled to make the planned Go To Travel coupons that can be used at travel destinations available nationwide also from October 1.