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Japan-to-U.S. visits continue to drop since quake and tsunami

August 12, 2011 | 11:52 am

JapanesetouristsLAT The number of Japanese tourists visiting the U.S. has dropped significantly since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

But the drop in Japanese tourists comes as visitor numbers from Brazil, Australia and China continue to soar.

In May, the number of tourists from Japan dropped to 207,341, a 17% decline from the same month in 2010, according to the federal agency. The May decline was Japan's third straight month of double-digit percentage drops in visitors to the U.S.

Before the quake, Japan was the third-largest source of international tourists to the U.S., with Japanese tourists spending more than $14 billion in the country in 2010. Since the quake, Japan has dropped to the fourth-largest source of international visitors, behind Canada, Mexico and the U.K.

Meanwhile, visitor numbers have increased by double-digit percentages from China, Australia and Brazil, partly because of stable economies and favorable exchange rates for tourists from those countries.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Japanese tourists pose for photos at Disneyland. Credit: Los Angeles Times.

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