Interest Project to Offer Free Airfare to Japan to 10,000 Foreigners Canceled
posted on 2011-12-27 17:45 EST by Joseph First
The Japan Tourism Agency of the Japanese government announced on Monday that its "Fly to Japan!" project has been canceled. The project, which would have offered free airfare to 10,000 overseas tourists in 2012, was canceled because it "was not approved as a governmental draft budget of FY 2012."
The Japanese Tourism Agency had planned on allocating 1.1 billion yen (about US$14 million) from its requested 2012 budget for the program. The purpose of the program was to have participants spread the word of their travels online and, by extension, the safety of visiting Japan now.
The Japanese Tourism Agency's press release announcing the cancellation stated the following:
As the recovery from the earthquake is an ongoing urgent task, Japan has been vigorously working towards its restoration with the support from the world. Almost all of Japan has been back to normal and ready to welcome visitors. We are sincerely looking forward to having you to see Japan with your own eyes.
The Japan National Tourism Organization stated the following regarding the cancellation:
We realise that this announcement is going to disappoint thousands of people around the world, but we hope people will understand how insensitive it would appear for the Japanese Government to give people free flights to Japan when the cities, towns and villages devastated by the tsunami are still in desperate need of funding for reconstruction. We also would not want people thinking that the generous donations given from around the world to aide those affected by the disaster was being spent on giving people free flights.