• Kyodo


Spending by foreign travelers in Japan in the April-to-June period totaled an estimated ¥888.7 billion ($7.15 billion), a record high, thanks to Chinese spending small fortunes on Japanese-made products, sources said.

With total spending in the first half of this year already topping ¥1.59 trillion, “it is certain that the figure for the full year will set a new record,” surpassing last year’s all-time high of ¥2.31 trillion, a government source said Thursday.

The government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved a revamped growth strategy in June under which it aims to double the amount of money foreign travelers spend in Japan to ¥4 trillion.

The latest quarterly figure, which the Japan Tourism Agency will officially announce on Friday, topped ¥706.6 billion in the January-to-March period, setting a new record for the sixth consecutive quarter.

The number of foreign travelers to Japan is also increasing. Some 5.01 million foreigners visited Japan in January-March, up 48 percent from a year before.

By country, Chinese travelers spent the most, at ¥358.1 billion, 40.3 percent of the total and up more than threefold from a year earlier. Travelers from Taiwan followed with ¥147 billion, South Koreans with ¥64.5 billion and Hong Kong travelers with ¥60.6 billion.

Spending per visitor rose 23.3 percent to ¥177,000 on average. The figure for Chinese rose 34.7 percent to ¥285,000, of which around ¥173,000 was spent on shopping and ¥48,000 on lodging.

Expenditure by foreign travelers to Japan is estimated by studying their spending on shopping, lodging, food and transportation.

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