The number of foreign passenger arrivals in Japan in the first 10 months of this year hit an estimated 11 million, topping last year's annual record of 10.36 million, the Japan National Tourism Organization said.
Tourists from China and other countries are apparently traveling to Japan in greater numbers for shopping due to the yen's depreciation and the expansion of a list of duty-free products for foreign visitors from Oct. 1.
This year's total is expected to reach 13 million, the JNTO said Wednesday.
In October, the number of foreign passenger arrivals in Japan increased 37 percent from a year earlier to a monthly record of 1.27 million.
Many Chinese people apparently took the opportunity of the country's weeklong National Day holidays from Oct. 1 to visit Japan.
The number of visitors also grew thanks to large cruise ships from China, Taiwan and elsewhere as well as charter flight services.
To attract foreign visitors to, the central government added food and cosmetics to its list of duty-free items staring in October. Tax-free goods were previously limited to items such as home appliances, clothing and bags.
In the January-October period, the number of Taiwanese visitors to Japan rose 26.4 percent to 2.38 million, followed by 2.25 million South Koreans, up 6.8 percent, and 2.01 million Chinese, up 80.3 percent.