The number of foreign visitors to Japan in March was just 12,300, down 93.6% year-on-year just three months out from the start of the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The figures, published by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), were also 99.6% lower than the almost 2.8 million who arrived in March 2019. Around half of all arrivals were from China (4,000) and South Korea (2,000).
Due to the spread of COVID-19 in early 2020, many countries imposed overseas travel restrictions with Japan implementing stricter quarantine restrictions and invalidated visas among other measures.
While still not allowing overseas tourists into Japan, business entry resumed from July 2020. However, from the end of December new entries were temporarily halted again and quarantine requirements made more strict.
In January 2021, business track and residence track programs were stopped for all countries and regions, reducing visitor numbers below the preceding month once again. This remains the current state.
“International tourist travel still remains stagnant due to the spread of COVID-19 and we must continue to closely observe each country’s travel restrictions and market trends as well as fluctuations in infections,” the JNTO said.
The 2021 Olympic Games are scheduled to run from Friday 23 July until Sunday 8 August.