LDP panel urges govt. support for tourism industry

NHK has learned that Japan's main governing Liberal Democratic Party plans to ask for a phased resumption of the "Go To Travel" initiative to help the tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The party's panel on tourism promotion has drafted a resolution to ask for government support, arguing that falling tourism demand is hurting regional economies.

The draft says whether to restart the program, which is suspended nationwide, should be decided in June or later by taking into account the status of the coronavirus infections.

But the draft calls for a gradual resumption of the program in prefectures where infection status is Stage 2 or lower in the four-tier alert system, provided that preventive measures are in place and hospital beds are secured.

The draft asks the government to continue supporting the tourism industry with measures such as an emergency subsidy for businesses to retain workers, and to shoulder the cost for PCR tests for travelers.

The Liberal Democratic Party plans to adopt the resolution soon and submit it to the government.