March 19, 2015 6:16 am JST
International tourism

Visitors to Japan hit monthly record in February

TOKYO -- A total of 1.38 million foreigners visited Japan in February, up 58% from a year earlier, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Wednesday.

     The figure is the highest ever for a single month since tracking of the statistics began in 1964. The number of Chinese travelers surged 160% to 359,100, as they took advantage of the Lunar New Year break.

     By contrast, the number of Japanese venturing overseas dropped 10% to 1.26 million, falling for a ninth consecutive month.

     Additions to tax-exempt lineups and relaxed visa rules are said to have helped international tourism. A weak yen also worked in favor of foreigners visiting Japan.

     South Korean visitors to Japan rose 39% to 321,600, while the number of Taiwanese tourists jumped 45% to 277,600. Russian visitors fell 18% to 2,800, a third consecutive monthly decline. The ruble's depreciation is said to be a factor.

(Nikkei)

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