Shinzo Abe’s government is planning to double the number of annual foreign tourists coming to Japan to 20 million by the 2020 Olympic Games, Abe said last week. The government aimed for 10 million tourists in 2013 and the goal was reached by December 2013.
“We have gained a great chance by hosting the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Abe, adding the government is setting a goal of 20 million foreign visitors for 2020.
Abe is planning to make Japan a more tourist-friendly country and thus he asked his cabinet members to review the restrictions and obstacles that exist for foreign travelers, according to the international press.
The Japan National Tourism Organisation said the same day that the number of foreign visitor arrivals in Japan rose to a record 10.36 million last year, up 24 percent from the 2012, surpassing the previous record of 8.61 million in 2010.
Among the reasons for the tourist number’s increase last year there are the depreciation of the Japanese yen and the fact that visa requirements became more relaxed for tourists coming from Southeast Asian countries, the Japan National Tourism Organisation added.
The number of tourists hit record highs for visitors coming from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Australia and France.