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A hotel worker wearing a protective face mask and goggles is seen through a plastic partition at the reception desk of Mitsui Garden Hotel Nihonbashi Premier in Tokyo on June 26.   © Reuters
Asia Insight

Japan's Go To Travel plan spurs fears of 'man-made' COVID disaster

As Thailand and Taiwan seek to boost tourism, Tokyo residents barred from scheme

ERI SUGIURA, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

NIKKO, Japan -- Masaki Hirano, a hotelier in Japan's historic city of Nikko, is facing a wave of cancellations from guests in Tokyo.

Due to begin on Wednesday, a government plan offering 1.3 trillion yen ($12.6 billion) of travel subsidies aimed at helping coronavirus-battered local economies was scaled down last week. A surge of infections in Tokyo -- cases hit a daily high of nearly 300 on Friday -- prompted the government to exclude residents of the capital and those traveling there from using the initiative.

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