Japan sees over 100,000 foreign visitors in Aug., 5th month in row

The number of foreign visitors to Japan topped 100,000 for the fifth consecutive month in August following a relaxation of border control, government data showed Wednesday, with the figure likely to keep rising as Japan is looking to lift the entry cap.

Foreign arrivals totaled 169,800 last month, 6.6 times higher than those in August 2021 but down 93.3 percent from the same month in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

Although the government resumed accepting small-scale tours in June, the number of visitors entering the country for tourism remained sluggish at 10,826 in August, as visitors in the month were primarily businesspeople, technical interns or international students.

The figure is likely to gain momentum, as the government aims to remove its daily arrival cap by the end of October from the current 50,000 in a bid to revive its economy by accepting more tourists.

According to the Japan Tourism Agency, 11,701 people applied for entry into Japan for tourism purposes for the period from Sept. 16 to 30, while the travel application figures for October and November onwards stood at 27,883 and 8,007, respectively, as of Sept. 15.

By country, the largest number of applications is from South Korea, followed by Thailand and the United States, the agency said.

In August, the biggest number of foreign arrivals was from Vietnam at 33,000, South Korea at 28,500 and the United States at 15,800, JNTO said.

Meanwhile, the number of Japanese who went overseas in August totaled 386,400, 5.9 times higher than a year earlier but an 81.7 percent drop from the same month in 2019.

© Kyodo News