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Travel & Leisure

Japan's 40m-visitor goal already a reach amid China drop-off

Traffic set to slow further from virus outbreak, putting this year's growth in doubt

Visitors from China dropped about 20% from a year earlier during the Lunar New Year holiday. (Photo by Karina Noka)

TOKYO -- Japan's prospects of welcoming 40 million international visitors as planned in 2020 are already starting to fade as the new coronavirus cuts into the flow of Chinese travelers.

Japan drew 2.66 million visitors from abroad in January, down 1.1% on the year, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. This owed mainly to South Koreans being far less inclined to visit amid bilateral trade frictions since last summer. Travelers from South Korea numbered 316,800, down 59.4%.

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