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Monday, 27th October 2014
In Japan Travel News,

Tourist numbers top 10m

Last year, much was made of the fact that ten million tourists visited Japan for the first time during a 12-month stretch, with prime minister Shinzo Abe pushing the target up to 20 million before the 2020 Olympics and proclaiming that he plans to make tourism one of the country's biggest moneymakers.

It would appear that his plans are very much on track as foreign arrivals have continued to soar as high as the planes that bring them to the island nation. The number of visitors in 2014 is believed to have topped ten million, with the Japan National Tourism Agency releasing a statement to this effect yesterday (October 22nd).

Head of the organisation Shigeto Kubo told the press that the annual total for this year will likely top 12 million. He also noted a particularly dramatic rise of over 26 per cent of visitors in September, with more than a million entries recorded for the seventh consecutive month.

The government has instigated a number of measures over the past year designed to increase tourism in Japan, such as relaxing visa requirements for nearby countries including the Philippines and Thailand.

A weak yen has also done much to tempt financially savvy visitors from China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, as have efforts to increase the number of international flights from Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

Figures are only likely to increase in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which is government is using as a catalyst to make Japan more tourist-friendly than ever before. A raft of measures will be introduced across the next six years, including English street signs and better transport infrastructure.

Related news stories:
Hiroshima increasingly popular with tourists (11th June 2014)
A cheap yen and investment - foreign tourists flocking to Japan (13th March 2015)
Japan encourages Chinese tourists off the beaten track (26th February 2015)
Japanese stores offering tourists tax-free shopping rise by 60% (4th March 2015)
January visitors to Japan hits record high (24th February 2015)