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Thursday, 22nd January 2015
In Japan Travel News,

Japan records 13.41 million visitors in 2014

Newly released figures indicate that 13.41 million people visited Japan last year for business or pleasure, confirming previously published reports that indicated that the number of people crossing the border had hit more than 13 million.

According to the data from the Japan Tourism Agency, the number of foreign traveler arrivals in 2014 surpassed the previous record high of 10.36 million in 2013, with a whopping increase of almost three million.

The Japanese government said that a weak yen and relaxed visa requirements for those travelling from China and elsewhere in Asia had contributed to the rise in figures, as more tourists found they were able to visit Japan more cheaply and with less hassle.

By country and territory, the number of travellers from Taiwan was largest at 2.83 million, up 28 per cent from the year before, followed by South Korea at 2.76 million, up 12 per cent, and China at 2.41 million, up 83 per cent.

It's certainly good news for a government that aims to boost Japan's visitor numbers to 20 million in time for 2020, when Tokyo will host the Summer Olympic Games.

Spending by foreign travelers skyrocketed 43.3 per cent from 2013 to a record 2.03 trillion yen, with visitors from China accounting for some 25 percent of total spending, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.

The organisation also oversaw a trend in which the surge of Chinese travellers was reflected in an increase in shoppers who bought food and cosmetics newly exempted from duty, with large-size cruise ships making port calls more than 100 times.

December 2014 on its own saw record-breaking numbers of visitors for the Christmas season, in which arrivals numbered 1.24 million.