• Kyodo News

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Around 600,000 Chinese tourists visited Japan in the January-May period, up 36 percent from a year earlier, the Japan National Tourism Organization said in a preliminary report Friday.

As Japan will relax visa conditions for individual Chinese tourists from next month, the number of visitors from China is expected to reach an all-time high of 1.5 million this year, topping the current record of 1.01 million set in 2009, according to the Japanese tourism industry.

The number of tourists who visited Japan from other parts of Asia in the first five months of the year also increased by double digits, the government agency said.

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