The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Japan through October this year has reached 8.66 million, already beating the previous record of 8.61 million that was experienced the whole year of 2010. This growth is being attributed in part to the economic policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe which has led to a weaker yen.
The figures released by the Japan National Tourism Organization also showed a 74% increase in arrivals from China this October, as compared to the same period a year ago. Tourist arrivals from Japan’s neighbour slowed down noticeably for the past year due to a territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and other historical issues, which resulted in riots in China and a boycott of anything related to Japan. The increase in visitors may be a sign that at least in terms of business and tourism, things are getting better for the two Asian powerhouses, despite the still ongoing tensions between them.
The tourism agency credits in part Abenomics, or Abe’s economic stimulus programs to lift the country out of years of deflation, leading to a weaker yen and enabling cheaper flights to the country. The lowering of visa restrictions for some countries, particularly in the Southeast Asian region, has also played a part in getting more people to come to Japan. Worries over the after effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011 also seems to be lessening. Tourism officials are also hopeful that Tokyo winning the rights to host the 2020 Summer and Special Olympics will help boost the industry.
[ via Business Recorder ]
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