Japan Tourism Agency Monitors Row With S.korea

Japan Tourism Agency monitors row with S.Korea

The Japan Tourism Agency is monitoring how tensions with South Korea may affect tourism.

Agency Commissioner Hiroshi Tabata said on Wednesday that some South Korean firms have canceled employee tours to Japan.

The moves come after Tokyo tightened curbs on exports of certain high-tech materials to South Korea earlier this month.

Tabata maintained the effect on individual tourists is limited and the dispute has had no major impact.

But he added, "We cannot deny the possibility South Korean tourists may avoid coming to Japan due to trends in public opinion. We're keeping a close watch."

Tabata said the agency will continue efforts to boost tourism between the 2 countries.

Japan welcomed more than 7.5 million visitors from South Korea last year. The country was the second largest region for travelers after mainland China, and accounted for about a quarter of Japan's total foreign visitors.

However, the figure for the first 6 months of this year was down almost 4 percent from a year before.