Tourist numbers fell 5.3% last month from a year earlier, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. That’s the first year-on-year contraction since January 2013. Visitor numbers from China, which accounts for the biggest portion of Japan’s tourists, shrank 3.8% in September, while tourism from South Korea fell 14%.
The number of Chinese tourists coming to the country grew at a double-digit pace over much of the past year until August, when growth slowed to 4.9%.
Japan’s tourism may be further dented by a crackdown by Chinese customs officials on travelers returning from places like Tokyo loaded with high-end merchandise. Luxury-goods companies such as Japanese cosmetics maker Shiseido Co. have tumbled this month on concerns Chinese consumers will pull back on travel and spending plans.
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