BY DAISUKE NISHIMURA CORRESPONDENT
Hiroshi Mizohata, commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency, welcomes tourists from China with a gift of a Hello Kitty doll at Narita International Airport on May 20. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
SHENYANG, China--The number of Chinese tourists visiting Japan has rebounded, thanks in part to the reassurances of Premier Wen Jiabao.
Wen expressed his hope that tourism between the two countries would expand during the recent Japan-China-South Korea summit talks in Japan.
"I wish to recover and expand China-Japan tourism exchanges," Wen said. His statement was followed by reassurances from China's National Tourism Administration that Japan is safe.
The number of Chinese tourists to Japan dropped sharply following the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake.
According to a survey by the Japanese Consulate in Shenyang of nine major tourism agencies in the city, about 700 tourists are expected to visit Japan in June, while room for an additional 200 is available.
Although the figure is much less than the 2,600 tourist visas issued in June last year, it is a dramatic recovery from zero in April and 23 in May.
According to the state-run Xinhua News Agency, tourism companies in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and elsewhere will resume selling Japan tour packages in June.
In response to a Japanese tourism campaign, the Chinese government dispatched a delegation on May 30 of about 100 senior officials from major travel companies and airlines, headed by the chairman of the national tourism administration.