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Economy

Overseas tourists help push travel outlays in Japan up for third year

Big increases recorded in January for visitors from Indonesia and Russia

TOKYO -- Travel-related spending in Japan rose for a third straight year in 2017 thanks to a sharp increase in consumption by foreign visitors.

Japanese and foreigners together spent 26.7 trillion yen ($248 billion) last year, up 3% from 2016, the Japan Tourism Agency said Wednesday. "Travel spending has ample room for growth," Commissioner Akihiko Tamura told reporters. Visitors to Japan accounted for 16.5% of the annual tally. Domestic overnight trips by Japanese contributed 60.1% of travel spending, with day trips making up 18.9%. 

The number of international tourists to Japan continued to rise this year. The count climbed 9% in January on the year to more than 2.5 million, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Wednesday. These travelers are increasingly coming from other parts of Asia as budget carriers boost service to Japan. Visitors from Indonesia increased the most sharply, climbing 33%, followed by a 32% rise for Russians. Visits by South Koreans, Vietnamese and Thais went up 29%, 28% and 27%, respectively.

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