What it doesn’t have enough of, as in zero, are foreign tourists. And it could sure use some.
Like much of Asia, including Taiwan, Vietnam and Australia, Japan’s borders remain closed to tourists. While other Asian countries are inching toward reopening, Japanese borders will likely remain shut for some time to come. That’s a hardship for the many businesses that had come to rely on foreign tourists, who numbered 32 million in 2019, before the pandemic.
“Foreigners understand ‘kawaii’ more emotionally than do Japanese. They use, ‘Kawaii!,’ in the same way they say, ‘Wonderful,’ ‘Awesome,’ or ‘Lovely,’ ” said manager Yui Yoshida, noting Japanese tend to use the word mainly for tangible things like cute puppies.
“We had so many foreign customers before the pandemic,” she…
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