A Chinese actress travels to Japan six times a year to get advanced medical beauty treatments, like Botox and stem cell injections. She spends about 2 million yen ($13,800) on each visit. There has been a rise in wealthy Chinese tourists visiting Japan for medical services, reflecting a growing health consciousness in China due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kenkoin Clinic in Tokyo has seen an increase in Chinese patients seeking health checkups, infusions, and supplements. The government of Japan introduced a medical visa in 2011, and the number of visas issued has increased over the years. In 2020, over 10,000 visitors from China came to Japan for medical examinations.
Alibaba Group’s Japanese unit introduced a service on its cross-border e-commerce site, Tmall Global, to allow Chinese tourists to book medical services online before their arrival in Japan. Other companies outside the healthcare sector are also trying to attract more Chinese tourists, with some offering medical services at more affordable rates.
Japan faces challenges in expanding the medical tourism sector, including weak recognition of its medical services abroad and the limited capacity of hospitals to accept foreign visitors. However, the industry’s growth is strong and multifaceted, and there is room for further expansion into new sectors like wellness.
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