• Kyodo


The number of foreign travelers passing through Narita International Airport topped Japanese passengers in April for the first time since the airport opened in 1978.

The decline in Japanese who use the nation’s main gateway was caused in part by the expansion in international flights at Tokyo’s Haneda airport in late March, Narita International Airport Corp. said Thursday in a preliminary report.

The number of Japanese using Narita fell 17 percent from the same month the previous year to about 931,000, while foreign passengers rose 23 percent to about 995,000, the airport operator said.

Foreign passengers also set a monthly high, breaking the previous record of about 876,000 set in July 2007, due partly to the weakened yen.

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