Remember how Japan said that they would be giving 10,000 free flights to foreigners in 2012? Well, not so much anymore.
Japan's national tourism agency had high hopes for boosting visits to Japan with some free flights, but that's not happening as the budget was not approved. Japan does not have the cash to fly you over! The bad news comes directly from a statement on the JTA's website:
The project titled Fly to Japan! (to offer flight tickets to 10,000 foreigners with high potential to communicate Japan’s attractions), which had been covered in a number of media in autumn this year, was not approved as a governmental draft budget of FY 2012.
It makes sense, though. The country is still in repair, and the money they would have spent on flights would be better used on fixing things at home. It would be hard those still in need to hear that some foreigner was flown over to raid Akiba instead.
Still, I think that those that planned to visit still should. Japan needs your help and cash, so you'd be doing them a favor. I plan to visit in 2012.
Maybe they can revisit the free flights program in the future.
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