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The Japanese Government May Pay for Half Your Next Trip

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Update: The Japanese Tourism Agency confirmed in a series of tweets that its Go to Travel campaign would only apply to domestic travel – not foreign visitors. Read more about this story here. 


Travel is largely on pause around the world right now, but countries are making plans to get travelers back. Japan's new plan could top the list.

The Japan Times reports that the government's creative new plan to lure tourists back will cover half of the travel expenses for all tourists visiting the country.

The program, which the government plans to allocate $12.5 billion USD towards, could launch as soon as July. That's assuming coronavirus infection rates have subsided enough to attract tourists. Japan currently bans many international travelers from entering the country, including from the U.S. and Canada.


This proposal comes after Japan reported just 2,900 foreign travelers had visited the island nation in April – a 99.9% drop from the same period last year. Japan has also announced that the Summer Olympics scheduled for this summer will be postponed until at least 2021.

The Japenese government hopes to jump-start its tourism industry when travel restrictions lift, but it's unclear just how these travel subsidies would work. Will there be a cap on the amount they will cover? What expenses qualify? How will travelers be reimbursed?

These details need to be ironed out and there will surely be more information on how the execution of this will work before July.


Bottom Line

As Japan looks ahead to its borders reopening, the government is looking to provide a $12.5 billion jumpstart to attract foreign visitors. While there are few specifics on how it may actually work, it gives you just another reason to start planning that trip to Japan.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

23 Responses

  • Well considering I am supposed to be on DL69 (nice) to Tokyo right now this cheered me up a little. Maybe I will get to see the NPBL next year!

  • One issue will be if Delta will resume non-stops from MSP to Tokyo. The only 2 planes bu Delta has that can do it are the 777 and the A-350. With the 777 being retired from the fleet unless there are enough A-350s MSP loses non-stops to Asia. That would be a big travel loss for Delta flyers who don’t want to have to take positioning flights. Also for use of Skymiles.

  • I would definitely be interested if it happens. Maybe I can finally go back to my birth country which I left at 7 years old. I am now 72.

    • Naomi, I truly pray that you get the chance to return! I’m trying to plan a 40th bday trip for my son 2021. We were there when he has around 5yo and he still loves everything Japan! It’s also one of my favorite countries. I wish I had been more of an adventurer when I was there.

  • Hey, there:
    Best news I have heard today. Revives my dream to travel Japan, hopefully next year. I’ll look forward to more information. It has been a life-long dream of mine. I had even planned my itinerary for a 12-night trip, and booommm!, the coronavirus hit.
    Thanks for posting this. Charlie

  • Is there a website/service that we can subscribe to that would notify me when any new updates are announced?

    • Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We will provide updates to this story as they become available.

  • Thank you for posting this! We actually had a trip planned to Tokyo and then Coronavirus happened. 🙂 I would be happy with them covering any of my trip expense! Ha!

  • Still been hanging on to my ticket that I got for Olympics end of July. Debating on cancelling but now maybe I’ll hold on to see how things play out.

  • I tried to look for a source on Japan Times but couldn’t find any article in Japanese mentioning any financial support for foreign tourists. The Japanese articles about the conference of last Wednesday mention that the 12.5 billion USD is meant to boost domestic tourism, implying it is only for Japanese citizens, not given to tourists visiting Japan from abroad.
    If anyone has a source I would love to know about it.

    • It looks like they have updated the article since we published this on Thursday as this was the original text:

      “The government is planning to lure back foreign visitors by covering half of their travel expenses.
      The ¥1.35 trillion ($12.5 billion) program could start in July if novel coronavirus infections subside soon, Hiroshi Tabata, chief of the agency, told a news conference Wednesday.”

      We are looking for a bit more clarity on what these funds will actually be used for.

  • I’m heading over in November
    Wonder if I can get something towards holiday as an insensitive.
    Either way I’m looking forward to it

  • There’s no way they would be letting anyone from the USA in anytime soon, nor will anywhere else. But I could see them trying to entice people from Australia or NZ, as close and virus free neighbor tourists would benefit them.

  • I had to cancel a trip to Osaka I had made arrangements for in April over this. Hoping maybe September will be an option for rescheduling.

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