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Foreign tourists hit record, spread wealth around Japan

Foreign visitors strike a pose in front of Kyoto's famed Kiyomizu Temple.

TOKYO -- Visitors flocked to Japan in record numbers during the January-June half, venturing beyond Kyoto, Mount Fuji and other perennial favorite destinations and giving a variety of industries a boost.

     Tourist numbers jumped 46% on the year to 9.13 million, with Chinese visitors nearly doubling to 2.17 million, figures released Wednesday by the Japan National Tourism Organization show. South Korean and Taiwanese visitors rose 43% and 29%, respectively.

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