The number of foreign visitors to Japan totaled over 3.04 million in April, up 56.1 percent from a year earlier and exceeding the 3 million mark for the second consecutive month, amid the weak yen, government data showed Wednesday.

It was the second-highest monthly figure on record after 3.08 million recorded in March, and the cumulative number of visitors between January and April stood at around 11.6 million, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

If inbound tourist arrivals continue at their current pace, the figure for 2024 could surpass the annual record of 31.88 million logged in 2019, before the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country.

"Inbound tourism demand tends to grow during the cherry blossom season," a government agency official said about the April trend.

Notably, travelers from Southeast Asia and the Middle East increased as the month coincided with the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan this year, the organization said.

The largest number of travelers came from South Korea at 661,200, up 16.7 percent from the pre-pandemic level in 2019, followed by those from China at 533,600, down 26.5 percent, and Taiwan at 459,700, up 13.9 percent, according to the organization's preliminary data.

Visitors from Indonesia, with a sizeable Muslim population, rose 57.2 percent from 2019 to 62,500, while those from the Middle East jumped 73.8 percent to 23,200, according to the data.

Japan hopes to become a tourism-oriented country, attracting 60 million foreign visitors annually by 2030.

The number of Japanese traveling overseas in the reporting month soared 58.7 percent from a year earlier to 888,800 but was still down 46.7 percent compared with 2019.

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