July 08, 2019 08:22
The number of Koreans visiting Japan fell by around 5 percent on-year in the first five months of this year amid deteriorating ties.
The Korea Tourism Organization said Sunday that some 3.2 million Koreans visited Japan between January and May, down 4.7 percent down from the same period last year.
Bilateral ties between Seoul and Tokyo have been frayed in a spat over compensation for Korean victims of forced labor in Japan during World War II since the Supreme Court here ordered Japanese companies to compensate the victims last year.
Industry insiders say the figure could decrease further as anti-Japanese sentiment among Koreans has grown in the wake of Tokyo's recent retaliatory export restrictions on IT materials.
The number of Korean visitors to Japan had seen a steady increase in recent years, climbing from 1.6 million in 2011 to 7.5 million in 2018. Japan was the most visited country by Koreans last year, followed by Vietnam, the U.S. and the Philippines.
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