The number of visitors to Japan in 2016 jumped 21.8 pct from the previous year to an estimated 24,039,000, renewing its record high for the fourth successive year, Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii said Tuesday.
The growth was led by visitors from China, South Korea and Taiwan.
An increase in the number of air routes to Japan, including those operated by budget airlines, and the relaxation of visa requirements contributed to the record-breaking travel demand, officials said.
The Japanese government targets 40 million foreign visitors in 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The United States, Japan and other countries surrounding North Korea are on high alert over the nation's provocative actions, including the possibility it would conduct its sixth nuclear test, as Tuesday marked the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army. (the-japan-news.com)
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to appoint Masayoshi Yoshino, a former State Minister of the Environment, as the new minister in charge of rebuilding areas hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. (NHK)
Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber, 23, will perform at Tokyo's Ajinomoto Stadium on Sept 23 and 24. It will be Bieber's fourth concert tour in Japan and his first visit since last August. (Japan Today)
Despite the initial excitement among major financial institutions, the Bank of Japan's push for exchange-traded funds tracking companies that actively raise employee pay or invest in new equipment has run aground. (Nikkei)
Japan's growing labor shortage threatens the nation's ubiquitous convenience stores, whose business model relies on an army of part-timers packing bento lunch boxes, manning cash registers and delivering goods 24/7. (Japan Today)
The labor ministry referred advertising agency Dentsu Inc. and three officials from its offices in Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto to prosecutors on Tuesday on suspicion of violating the Labor Standards Law by making employees work overtime beyond legal limits. (Japan Times)