• Kyodo

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Foreign visitors racked up a record 7.86 million hotel and inn stays in April, thanks largely to the Easter holidays and the cherry blossom season, the Japan Tourism Agency said Friday.

The figure, up 16.0 percent from a year ago, was the highest for any month since the government began compiling comparable data in 2010, it said.

The survey did not count those who used private lodging services or cruise ships instead of hotels.

While aggressively promoting tourism, the government has been trying to plug its hotel shortage before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The Japan National Tourism Organization disclosed earlier that Japan pulled in a record 2.58 million tourists in April, up 23.9 percent on year.

By prefecture, Tokyo drew the highest number of stays in April with 2.09 million, followed by Osaka with 1.19 million and Kyoto with 689,600.

Chinese tourists accounted for the biggest chunk of tourists, followed by Taiwanese and South Koreans.

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