• ASIA-PACIFIC

China Lifts Ban on Group Tours to Japan After 3½ Years

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Chinese tourists visit a cosmetics shop in the Ginza district of Chuo Ward, Tokyo, in November 2019.

BEIJING — Beijing lifted its ban on group tours to Japan Thursday after about three and a half years.

In February this year, the Chinese government lifted the ban on overseas group travel for some countries, which had been in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak. But Japan was not included.

The lifting of the ban is expected to significantly increase the number of Chinese tourists to Japan.

According to the Japan National Tourist Organization, 9.59 million Chinese visited Japan in 2019 before the spread of the novel coronavirus spread, accounting for about 30% of all visitors to Japan.

The recent depreciation of the yen may also attract large numbers of Chinese visitors to Japan. The economy is also expected to be boosted by Chinese visitors’ spending sprees on Japanese products.