• Kyodo

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The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in August was down 99% from the same month in the pre-pandemic year of 2019 on continued strict travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Wednesday.

But the figure nearly tripled to 25,900 from 8,658 in August 2020 due to the Tokyo Paralympics, which opened on Aug. 24 and ran for about two weeks, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

In July, the number of foreign visitors rose to 51,100 from 3,782 a year earlier as the Tokyo Olympics brought tens of thousands of athletes and staff from overseas to the country.

But the figure is expected to fall starting September as Japan continues to ban the entry of foreign travelers in principle.

With the medical system still under strain amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, 19 prefectures currently remain under a state of emergency over the pandemic.

By country, visitors from the United States accounted for the highest number at 3,000 in August, followed by 2,400 from China and 1,800 from France.

According to the data, a total of 66,100 Japanese nationals left the country last month, down 78% from a year earlier and down 96.9% from August 2019.

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