Starting on January 19, the Japanese government will extend the validity of multiple-entry visas for Chinese tourists from three to five years. The tourists will also have unrestricted travel throughout Japan.
The move aims to attract more Chinese visitors, who are playing an increasingly important role in bolstering consumer spending and economic growth in Japan.
Hitomi Takahashi is the manager of a sales division at the branch of the Japanese cosmetic maker Shiseido company at the luxurious shopping district in central Tokyo Ginza.
“This shopping street brings together visitors from across the world and Chinese consumers account for more than 70 percent of them. We have Chinese salespeople in our shop and we also have several Chinese interpreters so that we can communicate with Chinese tourists.”
The yen’s slump to a seven-year low against the U.S. dollar and other currencies is also broadening the country’s appeal globally.
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry estimates that some 2.2 million Chinese visited Japan in the first 10 months of 2014, contributing more than a third of the total spending by foreign tourists.
According to the Japanese Tourism Agency, the average Chinese tourist spent about 2,000 U.S. dollars last year, more than three times as much as visitors of other nationalities.
Chinese tourists said the main appeal of Japanese products is their perceived superior quality and lower prices.
“I came to buy some electronics, including cameras and cellphones, and also clothes, items for daily use and cosmetic products because the exchange rate has dropped recently. Some of my friends go to school here and they often go back to China with bags of purchases. I think maybe the reason that people come here to buy is that prices in our country are higher.”
The Japanese government plans to further expand the range of goods exempt from consumption tax for foreign tourists, possibly to include cosmetics, food and alcoholic beverages in the next fiscal year. Analysts believe the move is likely to lure more foreign nationals and help buoy the recession-bit economy.
Learn more in our Global Ready China Seminars
Article: CRI News
- Number of China tourists to Japan rose 82pc in 2014 @ Malay Mail (2015-02)