Decision on tourism campaign delayed amid rise in coronavirus cases

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People are seen on a street in Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture, in April.

The government will decide the start date of a nationwide campaign to boost tourism after the House of Councilors election, Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Tetsuo Saito said Tuesday.

“We will assess the general picture of the [pandemic] situation and make an appropriate decision,” Saito said at a press conference following a Cabinet meeting.

A discount campaign currently in place for travel within prefectures or designated regions is slated to be expanded to include travel nationwide.

Saito said the government had planned to start the program in the first half of July because the pandemic situation appeared to be improving in June.

However, at the end of June, a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry advisory body said an increase in new cases was likely in large cities.

The recent rise in infections prompted the government to delay its decision until after the upper house election on Sunday.

Saito said the whole government will carefully consider the issue.