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The government has decided to appoint Atsumi Gamou, director-general of the Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, as commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency, it has been learned.

Gamou, 59, will succeed Hiroshi Tabata, who will retire as commissioner. The appointment is expected to take effect within July.

The tourism and hotel industries are struggling as sales plunge due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The government will start its “Go To Travel” program July 22, earlier than previously planned, in order to shore up travel demand with subsidies to lower travel and shopping costs.

Gamou will take on the difficult task of achieving a recovery in travel demand amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Gamou joined the Transport Ministry, a predecessor of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, in 1985. He assumed his current post in July 2019 after serving as director-general at the Maritime and Railway bureaus.

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