A total of 9.14 million foreign visitors arrived in Japan in the first half of 2015, up 46 per cent from the same period last year, when 6.26 million foreign visitors entered the country, the Japan National Tourism Organisation said Wednesday.
If this pace is maintained, the number of foreign visitors arriving in Japan this year could reach a record 18 million, according to the organisation.
Visitors from 19 countries and territories, including South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia and the United States, marked record highs during the period.
The JNTO said that since July normally sees more foreign visitors than any other month and the 23rd World Scout Jamboree is planned in Yamaguchi from the end of July through early August, an increasing number of visitors can be expected.
Meanwhile, the JNTO said 1.6 million foreigners visited Japan in June, up 51.8 per cent from June last year, when nearly 1.06 million foreign visitors entered the country. In addition to the start of the summer vacation season and tourism promotional campaigns, the yen's depreciation and an increase in international airline routes helped increase the number of foreigners visiting Japan.
The largest number of visitors came from China with 462,300 entering Japan in June, a huge 167.2 per cent increase from the same month last year. The second largest number of visitors last month came from Taiwan with 345,200, up 35.8 per cent, followed by South Koreans with 251,500, up 21.2 per cent.