Japan saw an estimated 2,184,300 foreign visitors in September, representing 96.1 percent of the figure for the same month in 2019 before the coronavirus outbreak, government data showed Wednesday.

The recovery rate was significantly higher than the previous month, and this was helped by an increase in visitors from countries of Southeast Asia and North America, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

Visitors from mainland China totaled 325,600 last month, or 39.8 percent of the pre-pandemic level four years earlier, but the figure was lower than the previous month by nearly 40,000.

China, which in August lifted restrictions on Japan-bound group travel for its citizens, ranked third in a list of arrival numbers from other countries and regions.

The most arrivals came from South Korea at 570,400, up 183.4 percent, followed by Taiwan at 385,300, up 2.4 percent.

September saw a record number of foreign visitors for the month from 15 out of 23 markets, including South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and the United States, the data showed.

Meanwhile, the number of Japanese nationals traveling overseas more than tripled in September from a year before to 1,004,700, although it was 42.6 percent less than the same month in 2019.

The number of departures fell by almost 200,000 compared with August.

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