Tokyo, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Tourism has continued to remain at very low levels in Japan as it received just some 3,800 foreign visitors in July due to restrictions on the entry of people from 146 territories as a measure to check the spread of Covid-19.
While the numbers for July represent a 99.9 percent year-on-year drop, they are slightly higher than the around 2,600 foreign tourists recorded in June, 1,663 in May and 2,917 in April, according to a report by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).
A significant factor for this recent upward trend can be attributed to an agreement with Vietnam for mutual easing of restrictions, allowing more tourists from the Southeast Asian country.
JNTO underlined in a statement that owing to the spread of the novel coronavirus, Japan has continued to adopt measures such as reinforcing quarantine and invalidating visas, and many countries have been imposing restrictions on foreign travel.
Owing to these reasons, for the fourth month in a row, the number of foreign visitors to Japan was close to zero, according to the tourism organization.
JNTO noted that the paralysis in the tourism sector was a global phenomenon and stressed on the need to pay attention to future market trends and the evolution of the pandemic.
In February, Japan began imposing entry restrictions on arrivals from China and South Korea, as a measure to check the spread of Covid-19 in the country. This ban has now been progressively increased to 146 nations at the moment.
Tourists from China, South Korea, and Taiwan usually top the list of foreign visitors to Japan.
In July, the archipelago received some 800 visitors from China and hardly 300 South Koreans, compared to more than one million Chinese and over half a million from South Korea during the same period last year.
While the reduction in the number of arrivals from most parts of the world was close to 100 percent, the decline with respect to Vietnam in July was 98.5 percent – 600 Vietnamese entered Japan – and India was 97.7 percent, with the entry of about 300 people.
Between January and July, the arrival of foreign tourists to Japan fell by 79.9 percent to 3.95 million, compared to 19.6 million during the same period in 2019.
Japan had been eyeing 40 million foreign visitors this year, due to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which for now have been postponed by a year due to the pandemic. EFE-EPA