April-June tourists to Fukushima up 10% to 13.32 mil. on publicity blitz

The number of tourists who visited Fukushima Prefecture in the April-June period reached 13,321,667, the highest level for the quarter since the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami/nuclear disaster. Helping boost the number was the Fukushima Destination Campaign tourism promotion initiative conducted during the period. With the tourists’ economic effects estimated at 29.5 billion yen, Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori hailed the results as a “success” of the campaign. The statistics were announced at a joint news conference held in the city of Fukushima on Aug. 24 by Uchibori and representatives of the Japan Railway (JR) group that took part in the publicity blitz -- JR East Mito Branch manager Michikazu Mukoyama and Sendai Branch head Shigeru Matsuki. The accompanying graph shows changes in the number of tourists to Fukushima Prefecture over time. This year’s figures are preliminary results based on data from 250 major sightseeing spots and tourist facilities in the prefecture while those for the years up to 2014 are figures finalized after close examination by the prefectural government. The number of tourists this year was up by about 1.22 million from the previous year, or about 10.1%, recovering to about 90% of the level in 2010, prior to the earthquake and the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant. (Translated by Kyodo News)