Foreign visitors to Japan, tourist spending hit new highs

Taiwan remains third-largest source of tourism for Japan.

Shibuya streets (Source: pixabay)

Shibuya streets (Source: pixabay)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The Japan Tourism Agency reported (JTA) on Wednesday (July 17) that foreign tourism in Japan had climbed to a new high during the first half of 2019 despite slowing in growth.

According to new statistics, the number of foreigners visiting Japan between January and June 2019 surpassed 16.6 million. However, JTA chief Hiroshi Tabata (田端浩) admitted that the growth rate had decreased to 4.6 percent from 15.6 percent in the same period last year.

Due to a relaxed visa policy, the number of tourists from China grew by 11.7 percent to exceed 4.5 million, ranking first among all countries. South Korea ranked second with 3.8 million tourists, a drop of 3.8 percent most likely due to worsened relations between the two countries.

Taiwan remains the third-largest source of overseas travel for Japan with some 2.4 million tourists, down one percent from last year. While foreign tourism in Japan continues to grow, it is a far cry from the Japanese government’s objective of 40 million foreign tourists by 2020.

Tourist consumption also hit a new high, growing 8.3 percent to 2.43 trillion yen (US$22.58 billion). Chinese tourists spent the most at 895 billion yen (US$8.3 billion), followed by Taiwanese at 298.1 billion yen (US $2.77 billion) and South Koreans at 276.2 billion yen (US $2.56 billion).