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Foreign-tourist spending picking back up in Japan

Influx of budget travelers seen giving economy a fresh boost

Though spending by visitors to Japan is down per person, the overall figure has risen.

TOKYO -- After a drop-off in shopping sprees by Chinese tourists, spending by visitors to Japan from abroad seems to be bottoming out as more people take advantage of affordable travel options.

Department store operators Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, J. Front Retailing, Takashimaya and H2O Retailing see aggregate sales of tax-free goods to foreign shoppers growing 20% to 161 billion yen ($1.44 billion) this fiscal year. This would top the 146 billion yen seen during fiscal 2015, when Chinese tourists flocked to big-ticket items.

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