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Russia tourist flows to Japan reach record high in 2017

About 63,700 Russian nationals visited Japan from January to October

TOKYO, November 15. /TASS/. The number of Russian tourists traveling to Japan grew by a record 40.2% in January-October year-on-year, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) said on Wednesday adding that this is a record high growth figure when compared to other countries around the world.

"Easing general requirements and an increase in flights between Japan and the regions of the Russian Far East has contributed to a spike in the flow of tourists. An all-time record number of Russian tourists visited Japan in October - 9,300 people," JNTO said in a report.

Reports say roughly 63,700 Russian nationals visited Japan from January to October, which is already well above the figure of 54,839 Russians visiting the country last year.

South Korea comes second in the growth figures with a 40-percent growth from January to October year-on-year. A total of 5.83 million South Korean nationals travelled to Japan within this same period.

Overall, 23.79 million foreign tourists traveled to Japan between January and October.

Against the background of growing cooperation, on January 1, 2017, the Japanese authorities eased visa-issuing procedures for Russian nationals. This decision was timed for a visit to Japan by Russian President Vladimir Putin in December 2016.

These relaxed guidelines are primarily aimed at entrepreneurs, art and culture figures and scholars. At present, they receive five-year multi-entry visas instead of three-year ones as was the case earlier.

Japan has for the first time introduced multi-entry visas for three years with the staying period of no more than 30 days at a time that can also be issued to tourists.

It also scrapped the requirement for a compulsory guarantee letter from a Japanese national or the host side for individual trips to Japan.