Will it taste as good when shoved down our throats?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Japan has kept its borders closed to most foreigners for the past two years. Although recently we’ve seen signs of that policy starting to relax, tourists are still by and large not permitted to enter the country.

However, in a recent announcement from the Ministry of Recreation and Planning, it seems that when Japan does reopen to foreign tourists, things are going to be a little… different.

It was announced that, upon landing in Japan and as part of going through customs, tourists will be given a digital or paper “C.O.” card that, among other things, requires them to track that they purchase and eat sushi at least once per day while in the country.

▼ Is too much of a good thing a bad thing?

The Japanese government explained that the goal with the new policy is to help revitalize restaurants and tourism industries that have been floundering ever since the pandemic started.

Udesho Chiga, a representative on the committee that came up with the “C.O.” card initiative, said during a press conference:

“While we hope that foreigners will spend their time enjoying traditional Japanese culture, their amusement patterns can be quite unpredictable, and unfortunately we cannot afford to take any chances. Convenience store rice balls and Don Quijote Pocky are not going to be enough.”

He went on to explain that sushi was chosen because, as an industry, it in particular has been hit hard by the pandemic, with billions of yen of unsold sushi flooding the market and putting many traditional makers out of business.

▼ “The daily sushi requirement aims to open foreigners’ mouths, hearts, and wallets,” Chiga claimed.

However, the new policy does not end with the daily sushi requirement. The “C.O.” card (which stands for “COME ON” Japan) is currently planned to have other daily tasks that foreign tourists must fulfill, including:

While that may seem like a lot to keep track of, participating stores will have big “COME ON US!!!” stickers posted on their storefront, along with the COME ON Japan mascot:

Come-inari-kun is based on a lightning bolt, ready to “give a jolt to Japan’s economy!”

Udesho Chiga also added that foreign tourists who are still worried about keeping track of all the new requirements can optionally have a 24/7 native Japanese chaperone assigned to them if they’d like.

“In order to make things fair, the chaperone will have their own daily quotas to fulfill as well,” he said. “Each day, they are required to say ‘Atsui desu ne!’ (‘It’s hot!) or ‘Samui desu ne!’ (‘It’s cold!’) at least 44 times depending on the temperature.”

▼ And adjusting any sort of thermostat will result in a 51,000 yen (US$420.69) fine.

So what do you think? Will the daily sushi requirement revitalize tourism in Japan? Or is it just another nonsensical pandemic policy like last year’s Olympic stadium waifu pillow spectators?

Let us know and remember to have a happy April Fools’ Day!

Source: April Fool’s!
Top image: Pakuasto
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2), Pixabay, Pakutaso, Unsplash (edited by SoraNews24)

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