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As borders reopen, is Japan ready for tourism's pitfalls?

From crowding to reliance on China, current approach is unsustainable long-term

The Asakusa district is a popular sightseeing spot in Tokyo. The Japanese government still aims to welcome 60 million visitors by 2030, a goal initially set before the coronavirus pandemic.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- After closing its doors to most foreign travelers throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Japanese government has announced plans to start allowing group tours to enter Japan next month, much to the relief of hotels and other businesses that rely on tourism.

But the reopening is also expected to bring a trio of problems: local pushback against excessive tourism, extra strain without accompanying profits due to a weak yen, and the security risk that comes from depending too heavily on China.

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