Shopping in Japan picture source: Larry R. Lom

Japan has always been a hotspot tourist destination – with beautiful cherry blossoms, Mount Fiji looming on the horizon, tranquil Zen gardens, natural hot springs, and delicious seafood delicacies, people flock to Japan by the millions. This is also true for Chinese tourists, but not for the same reasons – Chinese are traveling to Japan to purchase, purchase, and purchase. The new generation of young Chinese white collar workers are looking to go to Japan to buy electronics and other products and is leaving the site seeing to the grandparents. The reason for the increase of shopping visits to Japan according to Zhang Qin, a Beijinger and seasoned shopper, is because of quality. Chinese are also wary of buying fakes instead of legitimized products in China. The increase of this new breed of Chinese tourists is warmly welcomed by Japan as they are relaxing their visa requirements for Chinese citizens. This news also brings Japanese retailers a sigh of relief, as Chinese who go to Japan put serious dents in their wallets. The value of transactions made on ATM withdrawals from Chinese debit cards, the amount increased from 2.7 billion yen in 2007 to 20 billion yen in 2009 – and there have been speculation that this number will quadruple in the next 2 years. The Chinese seem keen on spending all over the world,  from Europe to Japan –  there is no stopping the Chinese from saving the world’s otherwise stagnant economy.

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