Growth in Japan visitor numbers remains slow in Aug.
Jiji -- Sep 20
The estimated number of visitors to Japan in August rose 4.1 pct from a year earlier to 2,577,800, marking single-digit growth for the second consecutive month due to recent disasters in the country, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Wednesday.

A powerful earthquake in Osaka Prefecture in June and downpours that devastated other western parts of the country in July led to many Japan trip cancelations, the organization said.

The number of visitors from South Korea fell 4.3 pct to 593,900, dropping for the second month in a row. Besides the disasters in western Japan, where there are many popular sites for South Korean tourists, extreme heat in August is also believed to have caused some postponements in Japan visits.

Meanwhile, visitors from mainland China increased by 4.9 pct to 860,000 people, from Taiwan by 4.4 pct to 394,500 and Hong Kong by 0.7 pct to 198,100, all record highs for the month of August. But the growth rates shrank from predisaster levels.

In September, the country also experienced a string of large-scale disasters, including violent Typhoon Jebi, which caused the temporary closure of Kansai International Airport in Osaka, and a massive earthquake that shook the northernmost major island of Hokkaido, another popular tourist destination.

News source: Jiji
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