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Foreign tourists spend record 4.5 tril. yen in Japan in 2018

Foreign tourists walk around Tokyo's Ginza shopping district, on Dec. 19, 2018. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Foreign tourists in Japan spent a record-high 4.51 trillion yen ($41.5 billion) in 2018 as the tourism boom continued in the country, government data showed Wednesday.

Spending by foreign visitors increased for the seventh consecutive year. Average spending per person stood at 153,000 yen, the Japan Tourism Agency said in a preliminary report.

The number of foreign visitors to the country reached a record 31.19 million last year, up 8.7 percent from 2017, the agency also said.

The government expanded consumption tax exemptions for foreign tourists in July as part of efforts to raise the amount of such spending to 8 trillion yen by 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Chinese travelers spent the most at 1.54 trillion yen. Those from South Korea came to second at 584.2 billion yen, followed by tourists from Taiwan at 583.9 billion yen.

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