Foreign visitors to Japan hit record high

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Tokyo, Jan 10 (IANS) The number of foreigners visiting Japan in 2016 reached a record high of 24.04 million, 22 per cent more than the previous year, the Tourism Ministry said on Tuesday.

The figure rose by 21.8 per cent, or over 4.3 million, from the previous high of 19.7 million in 2015, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Ministry officials attributed the jump to the increase in the number of flights and cruise ships from Asian countries, as well as easing of visa and tariff restrictions.

The government aims to increase the number of visitors to 40 million by 2020.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government regards tourism as the trump card for the country's growth strategy and regional revitalisation.

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