Japan Fact-checks: Citing Only Convenient Data

(Issued on JuLY 10, 2020)

Welcome to FIJ’s English FactChecks Report vol.8. This is a weekly report that comes in three parts consisting of Notable Case, Fact-checks at a glance, and Announcements & News. 

Notable Case

Inaccurate: Japanese government to subsidize half of travel expenses for foreign tourists (fact-checked by INFACT on July 09, 2020)

News that the Japanese government will dip into its supplementary budget to launch a “Go To Travel Campaign” in the hope of attracting tourists back to the depressed tourism sector has spread overseas and construed to mean “half of the travel expenses of foreign nationals will be subsidized by the government”. This has been observed not only on the Chinese social network Weibo, but also in social networks in the United States, Australia, the Philippines and many other countries.

The Japan Tourism Agency, which is in charge of the project, has had to explain that the “Go to Travel Campaign”  is meant solely “to stimulate domestic travel demand within Japan” and only supports a portion of “domestic travel expenses”. Overseas tourists’ travel expenses to Japan are not eligible for this subsidy.

However, according to the Japan Tourism Agency, domestic lodging and domestic transportation costs of any overseas visitors in Japan are covered by the subsidies, unless prearranged by the individual (and not through the campaign). Because the cost of accommodation and transportation in Japan is also included as part of the cost of travel, it was judged to be “inaccurate” rather than “false”.

This misinformation has been fact-checked overseas as well, but the note that “travel expense subsidies are only available for residents of Japan and not visitors from abroad” ( by RMIT ABC Fact Check), is also inaccurate.

The original fact-checking report in Japanese is here.

 (Hitofumi Yanai)

Fact-checks at a glance
  1. Fact-checked by: Alt news  | India (July 01, 2020)

Misleading: Japan deployed missiles to counter Chinese threat after India-China conflict

Explanation: The headline of the article is “Japan deployed ballistic missiles at China border after its conflict with India” however, the body of the report does not make this assertion. In fact, without references to the Indo-China dispute, it claimed that Japan “will implement the Patriot Pac-3 MSE Air Defense Missile System deployment at four military bases by June this year”. Read the full article here (English).

Check out the IFCN’s #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance database of 5,000+ fact-checks from more than 70 countries on the novel coronavirus. Other themes of factcheck can be found on each organization’s website.

Announcements & News

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・For useful Japan-related information resources in English, check us out here.

Hope you stay well,

FIJ researchers team.