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No. of visitors to Japan at record high 6.73 mil. in 2005+
[January 17, 2006]

No. of visitors to Japan at record high 6.73 mil. in 2005+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)TOKYO, Jan. 17_(Kyodo) _ The number of foreign tourists to Japan in 2005 is estimated at a record high 6.73 million, up 590,000 from the previous year, transport minister Kazuo Kitagawa said Tuesday.

The 2005 World Exposition in Aichi Prefecture from March to September contributed greatly to the second straight annual rise in the number of foreign tourists, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The final figure will be released in April, according to the ministry.

The number of travelers from Taiwan rose remarkably as Japan heavily campaigned there, Kitagawa told a news conference after a Cabinet meeting.

The government is promoting a "Visit Japan" campaign to boost the number of foreign travelers to 10 million by 2010, and planning to step up tourism exchanges with China and South Korea as the two countries are markets with strong potential.

"We will promote measures with an aim to increase the number to 7.5 million this year," Kitagawa said.

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