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Tuesday, 24th February 2015
In Japan Travel News,

January visitors to Japan hits record high

Japan's tourism industry continues to go from strength to strength, with the Japan National Tourist Organisation ( JNTO ) reporting last week (February 18th ) that the number of visitors to the country for January rose to new heights in 2015.

According to the agency, 1,218,400 foreign visitors arrived in January, up 29.1 per cent from the previous year. The figure is the highest on record for the month.

Such a dramatic hike in tourist figures was attributed to a number of favourable conditions in Japan for overseas tourists, with a weak yen doing plenty to lure keen shoppers from China and Korea.

Analysts said that a greater number of international flights from Tokyo's Haneda Airport, as well as the easing of visa regulations for countries in Southeast Asia, also played an important role in encouraging visits.

A recent expansion to the list of duty-free products was another aspect said to lure tourists from neighbouring countries.

Japan proved most popular with South Koreans, who accounted for the highest number of visitors with 358,100 - the first time the number of tourists from the country has exceeded 300,000. Chinese tourists numbered 226,300, while 217,000 Taiwanese chose to sample the delights of the country.

The JNTO also noted a record high from Australian visitors for a one-month period, with tourists from the country numbering 48,600.

Japan's government will undoubtedly welcome the news, with prime minister Shinzo Abe pushing for a radical boost in the country's tourism industry in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Abe hopes to capitalise on Japan's extraordinary historical heritage, buzzing metropolises and stunning temples, with intentions to welcome 20 million visitors a year by the time the sporting tournament has arrived.

Measures to entice foreign visitors include encouraging greater use of English in restaurants and on street signs.

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