The number of foreign tourists that arrived in Japan in October increased more than 15-fold from the previous month to 288,909, government data showed Friday, as the country removed almost all COVID-19 entry restrictions on Oct. 11.
From Oct. 1 to 10, the daily tally of foreign tourists entering Japan was around 1,900 but it jumped to about 12,900 after the government removed its cap on daily arrivals and its ban on individuals and non-prearranged trips, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.
The agency has compiled the preliminary figures based on data from the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, revealing them at a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
As of Monday, the number of foreign tourists to Japan in November was 140,315, the agency said.
"Many tourist destinations are crowded with more travelers than the same period last year," Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Tetsuo Saito said at a press conference.
In October 2019, before the pandemic, the number of foreign tourists to Japan was over 2 million.
The government lifted entry restrictions that required foreign tourists to travel on package tours and to obtain a visa if they are citizens of one of 68 countries and regions with which Japan had a waiver agreement before the pandemic, according to the Foreign Ministry.