Visitors to Japan fall 98.3% in Jan., down for 16th month in row

Feb 18 , 2021. 15 hours ago – 18:35 KYODO NEWS

TOKYO – The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan plunged 98.3 percent in January from a year earlier to 46,500, down for the 16th straight month, after the country suspended the entry of all nonresident foreign nationals due to a surge in coronavirus cases, government data showed Wednesday.

The number also marked a fall from the previous month for the first time in eight months, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.

The number of visitors had been on the rise since last June with the gradual easing of entry restrictions particularly for business people. But the halt of such special treatment put a damper on the recovery trend.

In the reporting month, visitors from Vietnam made up almost half of the arrivals at 20,000, down 60.3 percent. Many technical interns from the country entered Japan before the Japanese government suspended the entry of all nonresident foreign nationals in mid-January, the agency said.

Those from China came second, totaling 10,200, down 98.9 percent, followed by 2,500 from South Korea, down 99.2 percent.

The number of visitors includes expatriates and their families entering or re-entering Japan as well as international students. Aircrew and permanent residents are excluded.

Meanwhile, the number of Japanese nationals departing the country dropped 96.5 percent to 48,700.