• Kyodo

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The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in February rose 3.8 percent from a year earlier to a record 2,604,300, but the growth in Chinese tourists slowed significantly compared with the previous month, the government said Tuesday.

By country and region, the highest number of visitors came from China at 723,600, up 1.0 percent from a year earlier, according to the Japan Tourism Agency. However, the pace of growth slowed from 19.3 percent in January due to a decline in the number of cruise ships making stops in Japan.

South Korea was second at 715,800, up 1.1 percent, followed by Taiwan at 399,800, down 0.3 percent, and Hong Kong at 179,300, up 0.5 percent.

The number of visitors from Southeast Asia jumped in February, with Vietnam marking a 68.6 percent leap to 39,400, Thailand up 31.4 percent to 107,800, and the Philippines up 28.0 percent to 35,200, according to the agency.

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