A record 19,374,000 foreigners visited Japan in 2015, a 47.1% increase over the 13.41 million who visited Japan in 2014, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Tuesday.
The JNTO said spending by foreign tourists amounted to around 3.48 trillion yen, compared with 2.03 trillion yen in 2014, Fuji TV reported.
The highest number of visitors were mainland Chinese who accounted for 4.99 million, up by 50% over 2014, despite political tensions between the two countries. South Korea was next with about 4 million, followed by Taiwanese tourists at 3.68 million. The number of visitors from the U.S. was also up by 16.6%, surpassing 1 million.
Tourism officials attribute the hike in tourism numbers to the weak yen, more international flights in and out of Haneda Airport by low-cost carriers, as well as the easing of visa regulations for countries in Southeast Asia.
Japan's target for 2016 is 20 million tourists, but government officials say this will depend on what happens with the Chinese economy.© Japan Today