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Foreign visitors to Japan hit 1m in July
Publication Date : 23-08-2013
The number of foreigners who visited Japan in July reached a record of 1,003,100, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) said Wednesday.
The figure was an 18.4 per cent increase compared with the same month last year. It was the first time the figure exceeded 1 million in a single month. The previous record of 923,017 was set in April. The increase is attributed to the weak yen as well as the government’s relaxation of tourist visa policies for South Asian countries.
The government’s visa waivers for Thai and Malaysian tourists eased the way for 30,200 visitors from Thailand, an 84.7 per cent increase from the same month a year before, and 9,900 from Malaysia, a 25.2 per cent increase.
The government issues multiple-entry visas to Vietnamese, which allows them to come to Japan as often as they wish over a maximum three-year period. This eased the way for 7,300 to visit in July, a 59.4 per cent increase from last year.
The number of visitors from the three countries each set record highs for July.
Meanwhile, visitors from China, where relations have soured over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, declined for the 10th straight month, dropping 31.5 per cent compared with the figure a year before to 140,000 in July.
As the total number of visitors to Japan from January to July has been high, reaching 5,957,700—a 22 per cent increase compared with last year—the realisation of the government’s target of 10 million foreign visitors to the nation in a year is possible.
“If this pace [of visitors] continues,we’ll barely reach the target. We’ll put all our efforts into reaching the goal,” Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Akihiro Ota said at the press conference.