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Japan's rural economies cash in on foreign tourists

Visitors spent over 1 trillion yen outside big cities in 2018, government says

More foreign tourists to Japan are venturing farther away from Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, and to places like Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, in central Japan. (Photo by Nobuyoshi Shioda)

TOKYO -- Foreign tourist spending in rural parts of Japan is surging faster than it is nationwide.

Consumption by overseas visitors in rural areas came to 1.036 trillion yen (about $9.67 billion) in 2018, up 58% from 2015, according to the 2019 White Paper on Tourism, released on Friday by the government-affiliated Japan Tourism Agency.

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