Japan received an estimated 3,800 foreign travelers in July, posting a year-on-year plunge of 99.9 percent for the fourth consecutive month amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Friday.

As the country continues to implement strict border controls to prevent the spread of the virus, banning in principle the entry of foreign nationals from 146 countries and regions, it is set to be some time before tourists can return.

Japan received 2,600 overseas visitors in June, 1,663 in May and 2,917 in April, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.

The figure in July marked the 10th consecutive monthly fall since last October, when there was a significant drop in visitors from South Korea due to deteriorating bilateral ties over the issue of wartime labor during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula between 1910 and 1945.

Few people are seen near Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, western Japan, on July 15, 2020, amid continuing worries over the outbreak of the new coronavirus. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The number of visitors from China in July fell to 800 from 1.05 million a year earlier, followed by Vietnam with 600, the United States with 400, and 300 travelers each from South Korea and India.

Meanwhile, the number of Japanese nationals departing from the country in July plunged 98.8 percent to about 20,300, down from some 1.66 million a year earlier, but an increase from the 10,666 recorded the previous month.

The Japanese government has started talks with 16 nations and regions, including Australia and some Southeast Asian countries, on easing travel restrictions for business trips.