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Japan issues record number of tourist visas to Chinese

2015-02-12 08:42 Global Times Web Editor: Qian Ruisha

The Japanese Embassy and consulates in China issued around 250,000 visas to Chinese tourists in January, a record high compared with the same time period in previous years, the Kyodo News reported Wednesday.

Estimates made by the Japanese authorities showed that the nation can expect to receive a large number of Chinese tourists during the Spring Festival holiday, which will start on February 18.

According to the China National Tourism Administration, over 2.5 million Chinese citizens traveled to Japan between January and November 2014, an increase of 51 percent in comparison with the same period in the previous year.

Statistics from global Internet media company Travelzoo showed that Japan was the number one destination that Chinese travelers wanted to visit followed by the US. Of the 4,300 respondents, 39.6 percent put Japan on top of their list, the media reported.

This is believed to be a result of Japan's new incentive plan implemented in January that has tried to attract Chinese tourists to the country with relaxed visa requirements, in addition to the depreciation of the Japanese yen.

In order to boost its tourism industry, the nation started granting three-year multiple-entry tourist visas in 2012.

Also in January, China and Japan begun a third round of high-level consultations on maritime affairs, a mechanism that analysts believe may help stabilize Sino-Japanese relations, which have been strained by disputes over the Diaoyu Islands and the East China Sea.

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