TOKYO —The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) said Thursday that the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan so far this year exceeded 10 million by mid-October.
JNTO said that at the end of September, the official tally for the number of foreign visitors to Japan was 9,737,000 people. The Japan Tourism Agency followed the announcement up with a report saying the number of foreign tourists exceeded 10 million two months faster than the same time last year.
By the end of 2014, the agency expects the number of foreign tourists to easily exceed 12 million, TBS reported.
Tourism officials attribute the hike in tourism numbers to Haneda Airport increasing the number of international flights, as well as the recent easing of visa regulations for countries in Southeast Asia.
Agency officials also noted that from Oct 1, the list of duty-free products was expanded leading to a increase in sales at department and other stores of over 2.4 times compared to last last year.