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Tweet of the Week #90: Tokyo Residents Pissed About Being Excluded From Go To Travel Campaign

Guess we won't be going anywhere after all.

By 5 min read

Japan’s Go To Travel initiative to revive tourism started earlier this week. But the government booted Tokyo residents out of the festivities in light of the recent steep rise in COVID-19 cases in the metropolitan area. We thought it couldn’t get any worse than the misconception that the campaign would pay for foreign visitors’ trips to Japan, and then this happened. The decision to partially proceed with the Go To campaign fueled an outburst of anger on social media. 

Go To(o Fast)

Understandably, the Japanese government faces a terrible situation, and the desire to support the industry is commendable. But was crafting a travel campaign with a significant stimulus budget amid a pandemic the right move? Early on, Japanese folks questioned the timing of the initiative to boost domestic tourism.

…why is commuting to work on a crowded train okay, but going on a trip bad?

The serious resurgence of cases in Tokyo pressured the government into reviewing their plans. Politicians started calling for a partial rollout of the Go To campaign, and some municipalities actively expressed their desire that people stay home. 

After meeting with a panel of experts on preventing the Go To campaign from spreading the coronavirus to prefectures that were spared the outbreak, the government decided to exclude folks from Tokyo entirely. As for cancellation fees, tourists and businesses were left in limbo until the government opted to cover only up to 30% of the cost.








“[Tokyo] Governor Koike

‘Ask GoTo to be reconsidered’


‘So we’ll exclude you.’

Lol, that was said completely to annoy her



The halfway measure sparked sharp criticism from the netizens, feeling that their government stubbornly refuses to backpedal once again. With hundreds of new cases daily in Japan, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures are also in the hot seat to be excluded from the travel deal. 

Here a selection of Japanese tweeps’ reactions when the 東京対象外 (Tokyo excluded) measure was announced. 

Go To Work

「Go To キャンペーン」って税金ぜいきんでやるわけだから都民とみんるよね。いつかは対象たいしょうになるんかな?



“Because the Go To Travel campaign is funded by taxpayers, citizens are angry. When will they be included? 

Or rather, why is commuting to work on a crowded train okay, but going on a trip bad? Lol”

An excellent observation, we might say.  







“It makes no sense to exclude only Tokyo arrivals and departures in the Go To Travel Campaign.

Example: a citizen who moved from Tokyo to Yokohama, participating in a tour to/from Yokohama is eligible for the campaign (in principle)

On top of being unfair, an operation with a loophole is no good, right?

If you want to prevent the spread of the infection, I think you can only postpone or cancel.”

Surely, excluding Tokyo is easier said than done. We can only sympathize with all the government staff and the hospitality industry who have to deal with the aftermath of this decision. 

Go to the other side



“With Tokyo’s exclusion from the Go To campaign,  isn’t the Musashino line, which can go up to Funabashi, as far as Makuhari and Maihama, via Tokorozawa, Koshigaya, Urawa and Matsudo, without going through Tokyo, bursting onto the scene as the dream travel line as a result?”



“How it looks when you lay (the path) on the map.”

That’s what we call an epic detour to go from A to B. 

Wannabe Tokyo













全員ぜんいん 東京のフリした千葉ちばじゃねーか!


“Minister of Foreign Affairs in Akabane

“You can’t use Go To from Tokyo!”

Tokyo Disney Resort


Lalaport TOKYO-BAY


Tokyo Sabage Park


Tokyo German Village


Ah! You guys!

Aren’t you all in Chiba, pretending to be Tokyo!?”

Nearby prefectures often try to play on Tokyo’s popularity when naming new places of business. Still, even Japanese folks felt it was a stretch to rename Ibaraki Prefecture’s airport, located a mere two hours away from the metropolis, the Tokyo Ibaraki International Airport. The project was, luckily, abandoned. 

Go To Cancel

A poll held on July 18 and 19 by the Asahi Shimbun revealed that 74% of Japanese voters oppose the government’s Go To campaign. Netizens started a petition on change.org, calling for the subsidy program to be canceled and the funds to support Japan’s healthcare system. 

まだ22日にじゅうににちにはなっていません。いまからでも、日本政府にほんせいふはGoToキャンペーンとしょうする愚劣ぐれつな「二階幹事長にかいかんじちょう自民党じみんとう利害関係りがいかんけいのある旅行代理店業界りょこうだいりてんぎょうかい広告代理店こうこくだいりてんもうけさせるためのいのち軽視けいし政策せいさく」は中止すべきです。 今ならまだ中止できます。 #GoToキャンペーンを中止してください


“It’s not yet the 22 and even at this point the government’s stupid Go To campaign which is just a cover-up for ‘a policy disregarding human life so the travel agency industry and advertising agencies that have interests with the chief secretary Nikai and the LDP can make money’ should be canceled. We can still cancel it now. #PleaseCancelGoToCampaign”

Using the noun わけ to make a conclusion in Japanese

For such a small noun, わけ surely can give learners quite a headache. 

Coming from the kanji わけ, which translates “reason, meaning, cause” (but also “translation”), わけ is usually written with hiragana when used to make a conclusion. The troublesome part is to untangle the nuances that わけ conveys in positive sentences.

  • To make a logical conclusion



The window is open. As a result, it’s cold.

A: 毎日まいにち日本語にほんご勉強べんきょうしています。= I study Japanese everyday. 

B: 上手じょうずはなせるわけだ。 = No wonder you can speak good Japanese. 

  • To insist on the reason or fact that lead to the conclusion


= I gained 4 kg in one month… it’s because I didn’t do any exercise. 

  • To reword a conclusion


= Tanaka, who is always the last one to leave, went home. In other words, there’s no one at the office.


Japanese Romaji English
再考さいこうもとめる saikou wo motomeru ask for reconsideration
除外じょがい jyouga exclusion
atetsuke something done out of spire, to annoy someone
対象外たいしょうがい taishyougai excluded, out of scope
満員電車まんいんでんしゃ manindenshya crowded train
都民とみん tomin citizen(s)
発着はっちゃく hacchyaku arrival & departure
移動いどうする idou suru move (to a new place)
不公平な上ふこうへいなうえ fukouheina ue ni on top of being unfair
みち nukemichi loophole
運用うんよう unyou operation
感染拡大防止かんせんかくだいぼうし kansen kakudai boushi prevent the spread of the outbreak
経由けいゆせずに keiyuzezu ni without going through…
爆誕ばくたんする bakutan suru burst onto the scene, coming out of nowhere
国交大臣こっこうだいじん kokkou daijin Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
しょうする shyou suru take the name of, pretend
愚劣ぐれつ guretsu stupid
幹事長かんじちょう kanjichyou chief secretary
自民党じみんとう jimintou LDP party
利害関係りがいかんけい rigaikankei interest(s) 
もうけする moukesuru profit
いのち軽視けいし政策せいさく inochi keishi no seisakyu a policy neglecting human life


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