The number of Chinese tourists visiting Japan increased sharply in the first half year of the year despite the continuing diplomatic tension between the countries, Xinhua News Agency reported. Statistics from the Japan National Tourist Organization show that more than a million visitors from the Chinese mainland visited Japan from January to June — an 88.2 percent year-on-year increase.
China is now the third largest source country for tourists visiting Japan. The organization says the increasing number of flights between the countries and the cheap summertime fares offered by some airlines have fueled the growth.
The devaluation of the Japanese yen and promotional activities by the Japanese government and Chinese travel agencies have also attracted more sightseers. The Japanese government has tried to boost its tourism industry by improving its consumption tax exemption plan for foreign visitors and encouraging the opening of duty-free shops. In addition tourist visas are now valid for longer.