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The Philippines is top ASEAN country for Japan tourist arrivals in July 2023 |

Travel and Tourism

The Philippines is top ASEAN country for Japan tourist arrivals in July 2023

Kristofer Purnell -
The Philippines is top ASEAN country for Japan tourist arrivals in July 2023
People visit Sensoji Temple, a popular tourist location, in Tokyo on Sept. 13, 2022.
AFP / Yuichi Yamazaki

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is the top Southeast Asian country for tourist arrivals in Japan for July 2023, according to data from the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

The ambassador of Japan to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, the JNTO's data and pointed out the Philippines' new feat.

As noted in the data, visitors from the Philippines increased from 37,771 in July 2019 to 51,700 in July 2023, nearly a 37% increase that made the Philippines take over Thailand and Vietnam. Visitors to Japan from the latter two countries were registered at 49,600 and 44,800, respectively.

Thailand's number was a 32.2% drop from the 73,202 tourist arrivals to Japan in July 2019; the only other Southeast Asian country in the data collected with a negative drop was Malaysia, down by 24.2%.

"A big 'arigatou gozaimasu!' to all our Filipino visitors!" Kazuhiko said in sharing the data, as the Philippines was the sixth-largest contributor to Japan’s tourism in July 2023 (fifth if one excludes those labeled as Others).

The JNTO noted that the majority of the numbers, including the Philippines', were preliminary, and based on information provided by Japan's Ministry of Justice.

Permanent foreign residents in Japan and crew members were excluded from the data. Transiting travelers, re-entries, and international students were included.

The data shows that Filipinos are truly in their "revenge travel" era as they seek to match or even overtake pre-pandemic visit numbers to Japan.

Between January and July 2019, there were 332,891 tourist arrivals in Japan from the Philippine. In the same time span in 2023, there were 328,800 — just a 1.2% difference.

Thailand still had the most visitors in Japan both times, although only Singapore and Vietnam saw an increase from 2019, both over 17.5%.

Taking into consideration the rest of the world, South Koreans overtook the Chinese as the most foreign visitors in Japan in July 2023, and the only countries to go over a million tourist arrivals since January 2023 were South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United States.

Over 13 million foreign tourists have visited Japan this year, 2.3 million of those in July, but the number is still 22.4% less than foreign tourist arrivals in 2019.

RELATED: For the first time in decades, Japan's 'hidden village' opens to overnight guests

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