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Japan's Suga to halt whole travel campaign as COVID surges

Prime minister's signature $12bn stimulus plan to be frozen over new year holidays

Japan, which has been boosting its COVID-hit economy by encouraging residents to travel, is about to shift its focus to slowing the virus's spread.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Last week's record-breaking number of new COVID-19 infections has forced Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to announce Monday the suspension of his entire signature $12 billion travel subsidy package over the country's new year holidays.

Suga said Monday evening he was halting the "Go To Travel" campaign from Dec. 28 to Jan. 11. The suspension of the campaign will take effect earlier in Tokyo and Nagoya, on top of extending suspensions already in place for Sapporo and Osaka, major cities that are recording high infection rates.

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