The number of tourists traveling between China and Japan hit a record 5.03 million in 2006.
The number of Japanese tourists visiting China topped 3.75 million, an increase of 10 percent year on year, while Chinese tourists visiting Japan rose 14.6 percent to 1.28 million, according to the latest figure released by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) on Saturday.
Japan has increased its investment in tourism in China and six Japanese travel agencies were approved by the administration last year, said Shao Qiwei, director of CNTA at a Sino-Japanese tourism conference in Guangzhou.
As the two countries mark the 35th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties this year, more chances will be created to increase mutual understanding and expand cooperation, Shao said.
Tourism is an ambassador that can deepen mutual understanding and promote healthy and sustainable Sino-Japanese relations, he said.
Japan's Minister of Land and Transportation said he is pleased to see more tourists are visiting China and Japan and believes the numbers will continue to rise.
(Xinhua News Agency March 17, 2007)