News analysis

Japan primed for tourism windfall, but without big-spending Chinese

Arrivals inched up in July to 144,500, and 169,800 in August, according to preliminary reports. PHOTO: AFP
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TOKYO - Japan is primed for a tourism windfall from pent-up demand overseas as, for the first time in 2½ years, it throws open its borders to visa-free individual travellers from Oct 11.

The decisive measure, announced by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in New York on Thursday, comes after months of baby steps that have proven to be head-scratching and cumbersome for potential visitors.

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