Japan: 10,000 Free Flights For Foreigners- Not Approved

I post this with great disappointment… When it was announced that Japan would try to help the economy and jump start it’s tourism industry by possibly offering 10,000 free flights to foreigners, I got pretty excited. I started thinking where I would want to go and what itinerary I would propose on my application…

I read a short while ago that this program was not approved as part of  the government draft budget of 2012.

I haven’t made it out of the airport in Japan but do plan to visit someday. A free flight would’ve been great motivation to go!
While looking into trip ideas for spring break this past year, we had narrowed our options to Japan and Chile. Both were available for really great deals using miles. After going back and forth with our options, my wife and I decided to go with Chile. We booked our flights to Chile on March 10 and I woke up to news of the devastating earthquake that had just hit Japan. It looked like our choice would’ve been made for us by mother nature had we not decided the day before!

Here is the press release from the Japan Tourism Agency:

”Fly to Japan! Project”(10,000 FREE FLIGHTS TO FOREIGNERS)

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.

We express our hearty gratitude to a multitude of people for offering inquiries and messages to support Japan after its coverage.

As the recovery from the earthquake is an ongoing urgent task, Japan has been vigorously working towards its restoration with the support from the world. Almost all of Japan has been back to normal and ready to welcome visitors. We are sincerely looking forward to having you to see Japan with your own eyes.

Japan Tourism Agency and Japan National Tourism Organization would like to inform you of the events and promotions in 2012. If you are interested, please register as a Visit Japan fan from the site below:

I do wonder if the Fly To Japan program was just a publicity stunt to get people interested and talking about Japan again. Then again, I am sure the money that would’ve been used to fund this program will go to use in rebuilding and helping the people of Japan.

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