Foreign Visitors to Japan Hit Record 31.88 M. in 2019

Economy Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 10 (Jiji Press)--The number of foreign visitors to Japan in 2019 rose 2.2 pct from the previous year to 31.88 million, marking a record high for the seventh straight year, tourism minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said Friday.

But the pace of growth slowed from the 8.7 pct in 2018, due mainly to a decline in the number of visitors from South Korea amid strained relations between the two countries.

Some in the tourism industry believe it is difficult to achieve the government's target of increasing the annual number of visitors to Japan to 40 million in 2020, when the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held.

Major travel agency JTB Corp. has estimated that the number of visitors in 2020 will stand at 34.30 million.

"We will use every trick in the book to achieve the target," Akaba said, signaling an intention to capitalize on the Tokyo Games and an increase in the number of takeoff and landing slots at Tokyo International Airport at Haneda.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press