Tourists back at Narita Airport but many tenants gone

The number of people flying into Narita Airport is on the rise now that Japan's border controls have eased. But instead of the usual array of shops and restaurants, they are seeing shutters and empty food courts.

Narita's operator says it had more than 460 tenants before the pandemic. But nearly 20 percent have closed permanently, and around 40 percent of the rest had suspended operations as of September 3.

Japan started accepting tourists again around three months ago. Last week, the government raised the daily cap on new arrivals to 50,000.

Narita used to handle around 18 million arrivals and departures of foreign tourists each year.

Onodera Tatsuya continues to operate a sushi restaurant at the airport, but says if the cap remains at 50,000 foreigners per day, it will be difficult to survive.

Narita's operator has been offering rent reductions among other support measures to try to convince tenants to stay or reopen.