• Kyodo

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Kansai International Airport, the main international gateway for the Osaka metropolitan region, handled 2.05 million passengers in July, marking a record high for any month since its 1994 opening, according to preliminary data released by the airport operator.

An expansion of routes linking Kansai to cities in China and other parts of Asia sharply increased the number of foreign passengers, resulting in a 25 percent rise in traffic from a year earlier, New Kansai International Airport Co. said Tuesday.

The previous monthly record high was 2.03 million passengers registered in August 2000.

Foreign passengers on international flights surged 72 percent to 960,000, while Japanese passengers dropped 10 percent to 470,000, a decline attributed in part to the weaker yen, which tends to discourage people from taking overseas trips due to higher traveling costs.

International flights increased 26 percent to 10,082 in the month, topping 10,000 for the first time.

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