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The National Governors’ Association called on the central government Friday to present standards for determining whether to resume or extend the Go To Travel tourism promotion campaign.

In a videoconference, Kamon Iizumi, chairman of the association and governor of Tokushima Prefecture, also urged economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who leads the central government’s coronavirus response, to resume the subsidy program in stages instead of at once nationwide.

“I believe the government made a brave decision” in halting the campaign across Japan during the year-end and New Year’s holiday period, Iizumi said at a news conference after the meeting. “But some governors say that (the nationwide suspension) puts regions with few infection cases in a difficult situation.”

The chairman also asked the government to notify citizens ahead of time if it plans to prolong the suspension period, which is slated to run from Dec. 28 to Jan. 11 next year.

“It would be harsh if the government suddenly announced that it will be prolonged,” he said.

Nishimura said that the government will take measures such as consulting its subcommittee on coronavirus responses ahead of time, according to Iizumi.

Meanwhile, at the start of the videoconference, the minister urged the association to call on citizens to consider carefully whether to return to their hometowns for the New Year’s holiday period, as well as whether to hold year-end or new year parties.

For regions with high or rising infection rates, Nishimura asked that governors issue requests “flexibly and without hesitation” for eateries to shorten their operating hours.

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