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Regarding the Oct. 12 article: “Tourism blitz: 10,000 to get free flights to Japan”: I can think of three reasons why we shouldn’t be using the national budget to pay for these tickets:

(1) The campaign won’t resolve the problem of why tourists don’t want to visit Japan. Although the number of tourists might increase temporarily, the number will drop off again unless we eliminate the real causes of their anxiety. Most people in the world still seem to overestimate the extent of radioactive contamination. We must keep stressing the safety of our country.

(2) We should use the budget in more effective ways. First off, the budget priority should be on reconstruction in Tohoku. Although more than eight months have passed since the 3/11 disasters, many places are still covered by debris. According to the environment ministry, just 60 percent of debris removal work in Tohoku has been carried out. Japan also must budget funds to investigate the safety of nuclear power. The accidents in Fukushima have made the Japanese question whether nuclear power should be abolished.

(3) The tourism campaign may cause the credibility of the Japanese government to suffer. Even if free tickets draw visitors to Japan, many will say that the Japanese government is “scattering money” because it does not have the ability to actually make the country less dangerous. People around the world are paying attention to how well the Japanese government restores stability to the country and retains its international influence.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

sana tanaka

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