The Japanese Government on Tuesday announced the number of overseas tourists to Japan in 2016 increased by 22 per cent from the previous year to a record 24 million.
The Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) is scheduled to unveil the exact details of the 2016 figures next week.
Minako Oshima, a JNTO official, said the increase was attributed to Japan’s promotional activities overseas, an increasing number of cruise ship arrivals, especially from China, and more direct flights from South-East Asian countries.
However, the rate of increase was lower than in 2015, where it reached 47 per cent.
Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii told a news conference that the pace was slow but it continued to grow firmly.
“We hope to maintain this momentum by applying various steps,’’ the minister said.
Japan aims to boost the number of overseas visitors to 40 million in 2020, the year Tokyo will host the Olympic Games.