The estimated number of foreign visitors in the fiscal year through March hit 31.62 million, up 6.2 percent from the previous year, government data showed Wednesday.

Visitors from Asian neighbors helped lift the number but growth slowed from the 19.9 percent rise seen in the previous fiscal year due to a number of natural disasters, including earthquakes and torrential rains that hit the country last summer, an official at the Japan Tourism Agency said.

The figure for March alone was estimated at 2.76 million, up 5.8 percent from the year before, marking a record high for the month, according to the agency.