national

No.of S Korean tourists to Japan drops 7.6%

8 Comments
By Megu Jones

The number of South Korean tourists visiting Japan fell last month to its lowest in nearly a year as visitors cancelled travel plans amid deteriorating relations between the neighbors, Japanese government data showed on Wednesday.

Tourist arrivals from South Korea dropped 7.6% in July from the corresponding month a year earlier, to stand at 561,700, the Japan National Tourism Organization said.

That was the lowest figure since September, when flooding from a typhoon closed Kansai airport and a strong earthquake struck Hokkaido, and provided the latest evidence of frayed ties.

South Koreans are boycotting Japanese products, from Asahi beer to Uniqlo clothing, in protest of Tokyo's decision in early July to set curbs on exports of key high-tech materials to its neighbor.

"A lot of Korean tour groups are cancelling trips to Japan," said Hiroshi Tabata, commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency.

"We are watching the situation closely."

Japan cited security reasons for the export curbs, but Seoul regards them as retaliation after South Korean court rulings last year ordered Japanese firms to compensate wartime forced laborers. Tokyo says the issue was settled by past agreements.

The row has escalated, with both countries this month removing each other from favored-nation trading lists.

With the consumer boycotts sparking travel cancellations, carriers such as Korean Air and Asiana Airlines have started to cut flights and suspend routes to Japan.

Tabata said Japan's target of receiving 40 million overseas tourists by 2020 was intact. But his agency will ramp up efforts to win back tourists from South Korea, which has played a key role in the industry's growth.

Last year, 7.5 million South Korean tourists visited Japan, making up 24% of a total figure of 31.2 million, and second only to travelers from mainland China.

"We are preparing plans to increase the number of South Korean tourists by working with airlines and travel agencies," Tabata said.

Overall tourist arrivals from across the globe rose 5.6% in July, the data showed, and have reached 19.6 million in the year to date.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
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7% ? That's it?

I thought it would be more after all the huff and puffing mixed with Government sponsored nationwide boycott of everything Japanese in South Korea.

They'll be back; they can't stay away from Japan or Japanese goods anyway.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Now's the time for the Japanese to attract more Taiwanese & American tourists.

And since Japan is all buddy-buddy with Iran, maybe they could market their country's tourism to Iran too. They're rich.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Ok Abe, forget about your 40 million tourists. A quarter of tourists to Japan are from SK and the flights between SK and Japan are being cut continually.

BTW as a long time Kyoto resident, the tourists from SK are by far the best behaved. Why? Because their culture is quite closely related to Japan of course. Many Kyoto and Kansai Japanese have strong Korean roots.

Japan has shot itself in the foot and knows it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Good for Japan. IF the these Korean tourists truly do not hate Japan, and behave and respect Japanese customs, they will be welcomed in Japan.

They'll be back; they can't stay away from Japan or Japanese goods anyway.

No one can. Best quality in the world, and most mouthwatering food!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

2.99 million foreigners visited Japan last month, up 5.6 percent on-year. The biggest proportion were 1.06 million Chinese, up 19.5 percent to take up the slack. So, in short, business as usual for Japan's tourism, in fact it's increased ironically.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am sure most Japanese and Korean people don't really care much what their children in government are having a tantrum about today. The 7. 6 percent decrease could be accounted for by lots of other things other than the political kids and their spat.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The 7. 6 percent decrease could be accounted for by lots of other things other than the political kids and their spat.

Doubtful.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Not surprising when you read and hear their one sided propaganda in their media.

For the safety of Japanese travelers, Japan too must issue a much harsher warning about traveling to SK.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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