The number of this installment of Japan by the Numbers is 500. That is the percentage increase of the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan since 2011, the year of the Great Eastern Earthquake and Tsunami. In 2012, Shinzo Abe was elected Prime Minister. One of his first goals was to increase the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan. This goal was part of his “Abenomics” plan to boost the Japanese economy.
First, the Japanese government made it easier for people from more countries to obtain tourist visas. This opened the door to eastern and southeastern Asian countries, and many more people from these areas have been visiting Japan because of that. Second, cities all over Japan have been making many changes to make Japan more “tourist friendly”. And when it was announced that Tokyo would be hosting the 2020 Olympics, that process has only increased.
At last count, the number of tourists in 2019 was predicted to be greater than 2018. The Japanese government has announced the goal of 40,000,000 foreign tourists in 2020 because of the Olympics.