Foreign Visitors Rise 15.6-fold in 2022 due to Eased Border Controls

REUTERS file photo
Tourists from the U.S. take selfie photos at Nakamise street leading to Senso-ji temple, at Asakusa district, a popular sightseeing spot in Tokyo, Japan, October 19, 2022.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in 2022 grew by about 15.6-fold from the previous year to 3,831,900 thanks to the phased easing of COVID-19 border restrictions, government data showed Wednesday.

The figure was still down 88% from the record high of about 31.88 million in 2019, before the pandemic, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

In December alone, the number of foreign visitors rose by about 1.5 times from the previous month to 1.37 million, or over 50% of the level in December 2019.

The pace of recovery in foreign visitors accelerated thanks to the drastic easing in October of the government’s border control measures, such as removing the daily entry cap and accepting individual tourists from abroad and visa-free visitors.

A weaker yen also helped the recovery.