South Korean visitors to Japan increased by 23.4 percent on year in the first two months of this year, replacing the Chinese as the top foreign visitors to Japan.
According to Japan Tourism Organization on Sunday, 1,512,100 Koreans visited Japan in January and February to represent the largest foreign group coming to the country during the first two months of the year. During the same period, Chinese visitors totaled 1,348,600.
Last year, Chinese were Japan’s No.1 foreign visitors with a record of 7,355,800. The number of Korean visitors to Japan surged 40.3 percent to 7,140,200.
Many Koreans turned to the neighboring country for their winter break and Lunar New Year’s holiday amid still-sour relationship with China from economic retaliation over Seoul’s installation of U.S. antimissile system.
Japan’s easing in visa issues and tax refund programs also added to the country`s appeal.
By Jung Wook and Cho Jeehyun
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