A record number of people visited Japan last year, renewing a record set in 2014.
A weaker yen and looser visa requirements for Chinese travelers are cited as major factors.
The Japan National Tourism Organization estimates that about 19.73 million foreign nationals visited the country last year, up 47 percent from 2014.
Topping the list were Chinese visitors, with nearly 5 million arrivals. That’s more than double the level of the previous year.
This was followed by 4 million people from South Korea, up 45 percent, and 3.6 million from Taiwan, a rise of 30 percent.
Visitors from the United States also rose nearly 16 percent, topping the one million mark for the first time.
The number of people visiting Japan topped outbound travelers for the first time since 1970, when the World Exposition was held in Osaka.
The Japan National Tourism Organization says the government’s goal of welcoming 20 million visitors annually could be reached this year.
Securing enough accommodation will be among the challenges that Japan will face.
Source and image: NHK