Japan is on course to achieve a government goal of topping the pre-pandemic figure of 32 million annual foreign visitors by 2025, with the January-March quarter seeing a record 8.56 million, data from the Japan National Tourism Organization showed Wednesday.

"If we continue at this pace, we can expect the numbers of both inbound visitors and the amount spent to reach a record high in 2024, surpassing the target we had set for 2025," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said during a ministerial meeting on Wednesday.

Foreign travelers also spent ¥1.8 trillion during the January-March period, which translates to about ¥210,000 per person per stay. The total marks the highest figure on record as more people stay longer in Japan thanks to the weaker yen.