The number of visitors to Japan this year had topped 15 million as of Oct. 9, Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Akihiko Tamura said Wednesday.
Tamura revealed the most recent available figure at a press conference to announce foreign visitor data for September and January-September compiled by the Japan National Tourism Organization.
At a separate news conference the same day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga attributed the foreign visitor growth to progress in deregulation in the country.
According to the government-affiliated organization, the number of visitors to Japan in September stood at an estimated 1,612,300, up a sharp 46.7 percent from a year earlier, pushing up the cumulative figure for the first nine months of this year to 14,487,600, which already surpasses the full-year record of 13,413,467 marked in 2014.
The weak yen, increased flight services to Japan, eased visa requirements and stepped-up sales tax exemptions continue to attract foreign visitors, the JNTO said, adding Japan's efforts overseas to promote trips to the country keep bearing fruit.
The number of Japan visitors from 18 of 20 countries and regions covered by the statistics rewrote record-highs for September, excluding only Indonesia and Russia, while January-September numbers exceeded 2014 full-year results for visitors from South Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The cumulative number of visitors from China and Hong Kong this year already topped their 2014 numbers in July and August, respectively.
source by newsonjapan