Number Of S.korean Visitors Plunges In Oct.

Number of S.Korean visitors plunges in Oct.

Tourism officials in Japan are blaming souring relations with neighboring South Korea for a dramatic plunge in visitor numbers. Figures for October show about one-third the number of South Korean tourists visited Japan compared with the same month last year.

The Japan National Tourism Organization estimates 197,300 South Koreans came to Japan last month. That's down 65.5 percent from a year earlier.

Relations between the neighbors have become strained over trade and wartime labor issues. And as South Koreans make alternative plans for their holidays, the number of flights to and from Japan has fallen.

The total arrivals of foreign travelers also fell. The figure for October was 2.49 million, down 5.5 percent. This marks the first decline in 2 months.

However, the number of visitors from countries and areas taking part in the Rugby World Cup rose nearly 30 percent during the 2 months through October.

Tourists from Ireland and South Africa increased by around 400 percent.