Foreign Visitors to Japan Log Record Drop in March

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, April 15 (Jiji Press)--The number of foreign visitors to Japan in March plunged 93.0 pct from a year before to 193,700 due to the coronavirus pandemic, marking a record monthly drop, estimates by the Japan National Tourism Organization released Wednesday showed.

The previous record was the 62.5 pct fall logged in April 2011 in the wake of the huge earthquake and tsunami that mainly hit northeastern Japan. In February this year, the number dropped 58.3 pct.

The number of visitors was last below 200,000 in February 1989. The annual number in 1989 stood at 2.83 million, less than one-10th of the 31.88 million recorded in 2019.

Behind the latest plunge were strict travel restrictions imposed by Japan and other countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing a heavy blow to the Japanese tourism industry.

"People's movement has stalled across the world," Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Hiroshi Tabata said. "The situation is extremely severe."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press