Defeat!

Sumo

How much is just too much for a Japanese budget wonk? 10,000 free airline tickets, apparently.

In an effort to relight the fire under travel to Japan after the Fukushima disaster, the Japan Tourism Agency submitted a budget request for money enough to give away 10,000 tickets. The budget was to have been aproved and applications were to be received by about April this year. To apply, you'd send an essay describing why you'd like to visit and where you'd go.

Just found this on the Tourism Agency web site. It was posted while we were away for the holidays:

"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."

And I already had my essay written in my head.