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Foreign visitors to Japan in 2014 break record at 13.41 million, up 29% year-on-year

1, 21. 2015

   The number of international tourists to Japan in 2014 reached an estimated number of 13,413,600, a 29.4% year-on-year increase, as Japan National Tourist Organization reported on January 20th 2015. This surpassed the total number of 10,363,904 in 2013, which was also a record high, by approximately 3 million. The weak yen, which made Japan a more affordable destination than usual, and the enlarged range of items exempted from consumption tax, were among the factors contributing to a higher number of visitors from other Asian nations such as China.

   Starting at March 2014, the number of tourists exceeded 1 million for 10 consecutive months. Every month from October 2014, which was the month when the range of tax exemption was expanded, topped the same month the previous year by over 30%. There were 1,236,100 visitors in December 2014, a 43.0% increase year-on-year.

   Looking at the data by country and by region, Taiwan topped the list with 2,829,800, up 28.0% year-on-year. South Korea was second with 2,755,300, a 12.2% increase, and China third. There were more large Chinese cruise ships calling at Japan, and more Chinese visitors on shopping holidays, and this led to a dramatic 83.3% increase, with a total number of 2,409,200.

   There was also a substantial rise in visitors from Southeast Asia, as a result of the waived or relaxed visa requirements. Visitors from Thailand increased by 45.0%, and from Malaysia by 41.3%, while Indonesian visitors surged by 70.0%.

   According to the results of the Consumption Trend Survey for Foreigners Visiting Japan, which the Japan Tourism Agency released on the same day, the estimated amount of money spent in Japan by visitors on things such as shopping, increased by 43.3% to 2.0305 trillion yen, exceeding 2 trillion yen for the first time.

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