The number of foreigners visiting Japan has hit a record annual high of nearly 18-million in only the first 11 months of this year.
Officials at the Japan National Tourism Organization say the figure for January to November exceeded 17.96 million. That’s up 47.5-percent from the same period last year, and 4.5-million more than the 2014 total, which was an all-time high.
Last month, more than 1.64 million foreigners visited Japan. The figure is 480,000 higher than the previous record high set in November a year earlier.
Tourism officials cited as main factors behind the rise the yen’s decline and eased visa requirements for Chinese travelers.
Among the foreign tourists, those from China made up the largest group, at over 4.6-million — more than double the figure for the same period last year.
Those from South Korea totaled nearly 3.6-million, up 44-percent. Travelers from Taiwan topped 3.4-million, up 30-percent.
The officials say last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris have not affected tourism to Japan. They expect well over 19-million foreigners to visit the country in 2015.
Source and image: NHK