- Shen Yun
Diplomatic ties between China and Japan may be less than rosy, but Beijing visitors have given Tokyo's tourism and retail business a better complexion.
During the Lunar New Year holidays, Japan is expected to see a surge in Chinese tourists, boosted by an earlier easing in visa regulations last July.
That could be a boost for strapped Japanese retailers, as Chinese are estimated by Tokyo's tourism agency to spend an average of $1,300 per person.
Some 40 percent of inbound Chinese visit Tokyo's Akihabara, known for its electronics, with tour groups often arriving by the busload.
At stores Chinese-speaking staff are on hand, as well as Mandarin signs, while Mainland credit cards are readily accepted.
A record 9.44 million foreigners visited Japan last year, with inbound Chinese rising over 34 percent to about 1.66 million, surpassing Taiwan for No. 2 after South Korea.
Still, the number of Chinese visitors eased in the last quarter as an island dispute between the nations spilled over to affect travel plans.
Nonetheless, Japan sees the number of inbound Chinese eventually hitting 10 million, planning to offer multiple-entry visas for frequent mainland visitors from this summer.