CLARIFICATION: Japan will NOT be paying for half your foreign vacation

Last week, The Japan Times posted an article stating the the Japanese government would be implementing a $12.5 billion USD plan that would cover up to half of foreign tourist vacation costs.  This built excitement across the globe as Japan, whose tourism has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, is a wonderful place to visit.  But all those hopes have just come to an end as the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) posted a series of Tweets clarifying the "Go to Travel Campaign":

So unfortunately, the campaign will "only cover a portion of domestic travel expenses", thus excluding the hopes of your international flight to Japan being subsidized.  Furthermore, as stated by the JTA, the plan is intended to cover people living in Japan only and not foreign visitors:

"With the state of emergency lifted and new cases currently on the decline, Japan will be balancing safety and hygiene with getting people within Japan back to enjoying what their beautiful country has to offer.

"Currently, this means initiatives such as this will be aimed at people living in Japan only, and not overseas visitors. Support will be offered to cover a proportion of domestic travel expenses."

So even if you wanted to travel domestically in Japan like hit up Sapporo after flying into Tokyo, you wouldn't be eligible under the campaign unless you live in Japan.  The JTA still intends to launch the campaign in late July or early August, which was when the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games were originally scheduled.  The details of the plan for domestic travelers have yet to be fully disclosed, but the finance ministry has proposed issuing travel vouchers of up to 20,000 Japanese yen (~$186 USD).

Sorry, your international travel to get a taste of Hokkaido's legendary sashimi won't be subsidized by the JTA...

Quick thoughts

Tourism accounts to 7% of the entire Japanese economy, so it does make sense that the government wants a stimulus plan to boost travel.  Unfortunately, foreign travelers will be on their own as the campaign will only subsidize domestic travel for those residing in Japan.  Japan's suspension of all visa exemption (short-term stay) agreements is supposed to end tomorrow, and no tourist visas are currently being issued.  It remains to be seen if these suspensions will be extended for non-Japanese nationales.

From all of us at Flying for Fitness, please stay healthy during this trying time.  We hope you enjoyed this post.  Please consider visiting one of our sponsors by clicking on the advertisements.  Our sponsors pay us for customer visits and help us to keep the lights on.  Thanks!


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