• Kyodo

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Japan handed out 3.78 million visas to Chinese nationals in 2015, up about 85 percent from the previous year as Chinese tourist arrivals increased on a weaker yen and relaxed visa rules, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The record number issued to Chinese accounted for some 80 percent of all visas issued by Japan last year, which came to a record 4.77 million, up 66 percent.

The number of visas issued to visitors from the Philippines came in second at 225,676, up 38 percent, followed by Indonesia at 162,273, up 15 percent.

The ministry said separately that the number of Japanese living abroad for at least three months totaled a record 1.32 million as of last Oct. 1, up 2.1 percent from a year earlier.

Of those, 485,864 people, or 37 percent, were in North America, followed by 385,507 people, or 29 percent, in Asia and 211,445 people, or 16 percent, in Western Europe.

Amid concerns about China’s air pollution and slowing economy, the number of Japanese living there fell 2 percent to 131,161 for the third straight year of decline, the ministry said.

The United States had the most Japanese living abroad, 419,610, as of Oct. 1.

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