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Northeast Japan governor calls tourism campaign 'successful' in his prefecture

Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai is seen in this April 21, 2020 file photo. (Mainichi/Issei Takizawa)

SENDAI -- Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai said on Aug. 24 that the controversial "Go To" tourism subsidy campaign initiated by the central government to support the country's tourism industry hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic was "successful" in his prefecture.

    Murai told an Aug. 24 news conference that, "I'm glad we launched the campaign. I think it was successful." He explained that while the number of visitors from the greater Tokyo area was small during the Obon homecoming holiday period in mid-August, hotel rooms were occupied to certain levels by guests from within Miyagi Prefecture and other prefectures in the northeastern Tohoku region, saying that the spillover effects on local hotels were "significant."

    Gov. Takuya Tasso of neighboring Iwate Prefecture had criticized the subsidy campaign during a news conference just three days earlier, saying that the initiative's July launch came "too early" and that he thought it could "be considered a failure."

    When asked about Gov. Tasso's comment, Gov. Murai said, "That is one way to look at it, but the situation in Miyagi, at least, would have been more disastrous if it weren't for the campaign."

    (Japanese original by Issei Takizawa, Sendai Bureau)

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