Japanese tourists decrease on falling yen


TAIPEI, Taiwan — The depreciation of Japan’s currency has taken a toll on Japanese tourist arrivals in Taiwan in the first quarter of this year, while the number of Japan-bound visitors has increased, according to government statistics released yesterday.

Japanese citizens made 362,000 visits to Taiwan in the first three months of the year, down 4.6 percent from the same period of 2012, data released by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) shows.

During the same period, Taiwanese people made 452,000 visits to Japan, marking a hefty 41.9-percent increase from the year-earlier level.

DGBAS officials attributed the trends mainly to an 8.6 percent depreciation of the Japanese yen against the Taiwan dollar over the past three months.

The weaker currency has dampened Japanese interest in making pleasure trips to Taiwan due to the higher travel costs resulting from currency exchange rate changes, the officials said.

Overall, the number of first-quarter tourist arrivals reached 1.858 million, up 10.7 percent year-on-year, according to DGBAS statistics.

Chinese citizens made 681,000 visits, or 36.6 percent of the total for the three-month period, marking a 22.2 percent annual increase