26 Jan '11, 7am

Japan sees record foreign visitors in 2010

TOKYO - JAPAN welcomed a record 8.61 million foreign visitors last year, a 26.8 per cent increase on 2009, a tourist body said on Wednesday, despite the growing strength of the yen. At the same time, the increased purchasing power of the currency helped register the first increase for four years in the number of Japanese tourists going abroad. The rise in visitors to the country was mainly due to a recovery in the global economy and the full opening of Tokyo's Haneda airport to international flights last October, the Japan National Tourist Organisation said. It was the second biggest year-on-year gain in the past five decades, following a record 40.4 per cent jump in 1970 when the Osaka World Expo was held. But the number fell short of the government's target of 10 million, partially because of a slowdown in Chinese travellers in the wake of a seething territorial dispute ...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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