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Exclusive: Japan to keep funding domestic tourism campaign under new stimulus package - draft

·1-min read
An empty street near the previously crowded Kiyomizu temple, a popular attraction among tourists, is pictured amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Kyoto

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Japanese government plans to keep setting aside money to promote domestic tourism and dining out in its next stimulus package, according to a draft of the upcoming package seen by Reuters, even as rising COVID-19 infections have prompted concern about the campaigns.

The draft stimulus package also included a plan to set up a fund to encourage investment in green technology.

The outline underscores Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's resolve to keep businesses open, even as Japan faces a resurgence in coronavirus infections that are quickly filling up hospital beds quickly.

The draft made no mention of the size of stimulus package or its source of funding, which will likely be finalised in the coming days.

Suga has launched several programmes promoting domestic travel and dining outs, as part of efforts to support retailers hit by the fallout from COVID-19.

Critics have blamed the programmes for spreading the pandemic across Japan by encouraging citizens to travel, instead of asking them to stay home.

(Reporting by Takaya Yamaguchi; writing by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Leika Kihara; editing by Louise Heavens)