Chinese tourists flock to Japan, boost economy (4)

12:22, July 05, 2010      

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She bought four Japanese digital cameras worth 560,000 yen ($6,300) at Yodobashi Camera. While similar products can be purchased in China, Zhang says she is wary of fakes.

She says she hasn't visited any tourist attractions during her five-day trip to Tokyo. "I am too busy with shopping," Zhang says.

Tokyo's upscale Ginza shopping district is getting a boost from the influx of Chinese shoppers, too.

"Chinese people don't go window-shopping in Ginza. They are in Ginza to buy, and they go for brand-name products like Burberry and Japanese cosmetic maker Shiseido," says Masatoshi Nitta, manager at the sales division at the Ginza branch of Mitsukoshi department store, one of Japan's most respected brands.

To encourage Chinese shoppers, Mitsukoshi became the first Japanese department store to accept the popular Chinese debit card known as China Union Pay.

The card is also used to withdraw money from Japanese ATMs. The value of transactions by the Chinese debit card in Japan soared to 20 billion yen in 2009 from 2.7 billion yen in 2007, according to a Mitsui Sumitomo Card survey.
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