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Japan positions itself as hassle-free Chinese New Year destination

E-payments, easy car rentals aimed at spurring tourist spending

Foreign tourists in Akihabara, Tokyo, on Jan. 28. Japanese businesses are hoping to encourage more spending by Chinese tourists during the Lunar New Year period this year.

TOKYO -- The Lunar New Year travel season is underway in China, and Japanese companies are hoping to wring more cash out of the tourists that come their way. One strategy is to make shopping and sightseeing in Japan as effortless as possible.

Though Japan saw a record 24 million foreign visitors in 2016, each traveler from China spent an average of 231,504 yen ($2,010), down 18.4% on the year. That was the steepest decrease for any nationality and put Chinese spending behind that of Australians.

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