○ According to statistics published today by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the number of foreign visitors to Japan in 2012 was approximately 8.37 million, which was an increase of 34.6% compared with the previous year.
○ The target of 9 million, which is higher than the peak of 8.61 million recorded prior to the earthquake, was not reached. Nevertheless, this latest figure is significantly higher than the figure of approximately 6.22 million visitors recorded in 2011 when the earthquake occurred, and overall the figure seems to have almost recovered to pre-earthquake levels.
○ In 2013 we will advance initiatives to promote tourism to Japan under the theme "From recovery to full flight" with an annual target of 10 million visitors.
Examples of initiatives:
・Build a foreign tourism framework that is not easily affected by external factors by promoting individual travel and diversifying tourism sources
・Further strengthen association between diplomatic missions abroad and Japanese-affiliated companies
・Establish a Japan tourism brand and enhance its promotion