(Yicai Global) July 24 -- Chinese tourists no longer rush into Japanese duty-free shops to snap up toilet seats and rice cookers, but their spending on Japanese snacks has risen. Chinese visitors spent USD458 million (JPY50.7 billion) on snacks in Japan last year, official Japanese data show.
Foreign tourists in Japan bought JPY289.7 billion of food, drinks and smokes last year, the Nikkei's Chinese-language website reported, citing data released by Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan this month. Spending on snacks was JPY130.8 billion. Visitors shelled out JPY158.9 billion on other food, beverages, wine and cigarettes. Travelers from mainland China spent more than any other group on Japanese snacks. Their purchases accounted for 39 percent of treats bought by foreign tourists.
Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong followed mainland China as purchasers of Japanese snacks and wine. Japanese and western-style desserts and Japanese wine are very popular. The Japanese government said earlier that exports of food, agricultural, forestry and fishery products would grow by 30 percent to JPY1 trillion in 2019 compared with 2016. Exports have already exceeded the target if local specialty products are counted.