Government officials estimate that 31.2 million foreign nationals visited Japan in 2018. The figure rose 8.7 percent from a year earlier, marking a record high for the 6th straight year.
The government is targeting 40 million foreign visitors by 2020, the year the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics is held. Japan logged an all-time high of 28.69 million foreign visitors in 2017, up 19.3 percent from the previous year.
Growth in inbound tourism continues despite a series of disasters hitting Japan this year. Kansai International Airport in Osaka and New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido were both temporarily closed in September following a strong typhoon and earthquake respectively.
Japan has seen a continued rise in foreign tourists, from Asian countries such as China in particular, supported by eased visa requirements and an expanded tax exemption program. (Kyodo)