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Opinion
Adam Minter

Why Chinese Tourists Love Japan

There's no lack of ill will in China toward Japan, but Chinese tourists still can't seem to get enough of Japan.
It's nothing personal.

It's nothing personal.

Photographer: ChinaFotoPress

There's no lack of ill will in China toward Japan. The chilly diplomatic relationship between Beijing and Tokyo is matched by occasional expressions of antagonism by the Chinese public. In September, the tenth Japan-China Public Opinion Poll (a joint effort by Chinese and Japanese organizations) showed that only 11.3 percent of Chinese had a favorable opinion of Japan, with 57.3 percent claiming that their impression had worsened over the last year. (Grievances about World War II and ongoing territorial disputes were among the top reasons cited.)

And yet, despite this apparent disdain, Chinese tourists can't seem to get enough of Japan. In 2014, 2.4 million Chinese visited Japan, an 83 percent increase on the previous year. And last week the Japanese government announced that it was increasing Chinese consular staff to handle a surge of Chinese visa applications.