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More foreigners than ever going to Japan

AAP logoAAP 12/01/2017

The number of foreigners visiting Japan in 2016 reached a record 24.04 million, 22 per cent more than the previous year, according to Japan's tourism ministry.

The expansion of cruise stopovers and launch of new air routes helped the number of tourists exceed 20 million for the first time, the government said.

Visitors from China, South Korea and from southwest Asia grew the most.

These figures are an encouraging sign for the annual target of 40 million tourists the Japanese government has set for 2020, when the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held in Tokyo.

The powerful earthquakes, which struck the Kumamoto prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu in April also caused a temporary dip in the number of visitors.

In the run-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Japanese government is planning to boost tourism infrastructure in the country, including an increase in the capacity of airports and seaports and improved access to national parks and cultural attractions.

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