Foreign visitors to Japan top 3 mil. for 3rd straight month in May

Photo: Kyodo

The number of foreign visitors to Japan totaled 3.04 million in May, up 60.1 percent from a year earlier and exceeding the 3 million mark for the third consecutive month, boosted by the weak yen, government data showed, Kyodo reports. 

The Japan National Tourism Organization attributed the strong tourist arrivals to China's holiday season and an increased number of flights and ships coming from East Asia.

The number of visitors from more than a dozen countries and regions, including South Korea and the United States, reached record highs for the month.

The cumulative number of visitors between January and May stood at 14.64 million, up 6.5 percent from the same period in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the data released Wednesday.

By country and region, the largest number came from South Korea at 738,800, up 43.3 percent from a year earlier and up 22.4 percent from 2019, followed by those from China at 545,400, more than four times that of a year ago but still down 27.9 percent from 2019.

Taiwan placed third at 466,000, up 53.6 percent on the year and increasing 9.3 percent from 2019, while U.S. tourists totaled 247,000, up 34.7 percent from a year earlier and up 57.4 percent compared to May 2019, according to the organization's preliminary data.

Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Ichiro Takahashi said at a press conference that total visitors through 2024 could surpass the annual record of 31.88 million logged in 2019 if the current pace of increase in arrivals continues.

The number of Japanese traveling overseas in the reporting month was up 39.4 percent from a year earlier at 941,700 but down 34.5 percent compared with 2019.

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