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Thais are the 10 millionth visitors to Japan in 2013

Praphan Pataraprasit and his wife joined ceremony at Tokyo Narita Airport on December 20, receiving goods including a plague and Japanese washi paper lanterns.

Praphan Pataraprasit and his wife joined ceremony at Tokyo Narita Airport on December 20, receiving goods including a plague and Japanese washi paper lanterns.

As Japan marked the first time to welcome over 10 million visitors in one year in 2013, the 10 millionth visitor turned out to be Thais - Praphan Pataraprasit and his wife, Yuphada. Upon their arrival at Tokyo Narita Airport on December 20, they joined a ceremony at the airport and received goods including a plaque and Japanese washi paper lanterns.

The Japanese government aims to double the number of international visitors to Japan to 20 million by 2020 and then triple it by 2030. The easing of visa requirements for visitors from Southeast Asian countries as well as new airline routes to Japan were other factors that increased the number of people visiting Japan in 2013. Overall visitors to Japan were up by 24 per cent in the first 11 months of 2013.

Japan National Tourism Organization's President, Ryoichi Matsuyama, said "With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games now just over 6 years away, we look forward to further developing Japan's tourism infrastructure and welcoming many more visitors to Japan in the coming years."

In 2003, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), together with the Japan Tourism Agency, launched the Visit Japan Campaign with the aim of achieving 10 million visitors from overseas.

"We wish to offer our heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has helped us by sending visitors to Japan. The hard times in recent years have made achieving this long-awaited 10 million goal all the more special to us. We would, of course, also like to thank the 10 million people who have visited Japan this year! We hope you have enjoyed your holidays and will be back to visit us again soon," said Matsuyama.

UK visitors to Japan were up 10.3 per cent during January-November 2013. The number of visitors was boosted by the devaluation of the Japanese yen, which has made Japan a cheaper destination for British travellers in 2013. The Japanese yen has dropped from 120 yen to the pound in January to 170 yen in December, a huge 42 per cent increase in value for British travellers.


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