Foreign visitors to Japan rise to 2.9 million in April

The number of foreign visitors to Japan in April increased to over 2.9 million, making it a record high for any month, the Japan Tourism Agency said Tuesday.

The agency’s data shows that the number of foreign tourists in April increased by 0.9 percent from the same period last year to 2,926,700.

The main reason behind the increase is that European, American and Australian tourists have taken advantage of the Easter holiday that began in April this year, the agency explained. At the same time, the promotion of cherry blossoms by the tourism industry also contributed to the growth.

From January to April, the total number of foreign tourists reached 10.89 million, an increase of 4.4 percent over the same period last year.

By country and region, the number of tourists from the Chinese mainland was the highest, at 2,895,400, an increase of 10.2 percent, helped by the ease of visa restrictions in January.

The number of visitors from Vietnam and Thailand has increased significantly, by 30.3 percent and 19.4 percent respectively. However, the number of South Korean tourists fell by 4.4 percent to 2,647,400.

The Japanese government has set a target of attracting 40 million foreign tourists each year by 2020, when Japan hosts the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.