The number of new, short-term visitors to Japan hit a record high of 27.05 million last year, according to data showing arrivals from overseas by their visa status released by the Justice Ministry for the first time.

New visitors staying for 90 days or less were the largest group of all arrivals and accounted for 98.1 percent of the total number, officials with the ministry's Immigration Bureau Intelligence Center said, citing the report on migration trends released Wednesday.

"We believe this (growing) trend will continue," an intelligence center official said, pointing to a near 10 percent rise from the previous year in the number of first-time visitors.