|Above, the Wako department store in Ginza, Tokyo. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
The yen briefly fell to 121 yen per dollar yesterday. Now there is talk that it may go as low as 130 yen per dollar.
According to the Asahi Shimbun:
The yen temporarily fell to 121.69 yen to the dollar in New York on Dec. 5, the first time since July 2007 that the value of the Japanese currency has dropped below 121.00.
Some market traders believe the Japanese currency will decline to a level close to 130.00 yen.While some Japanese industries cringe at the thought of a yen this low (importers, for example), others, such as exporters and the tourism industry, see this as a boon.
The current exchange rates mean better deals for American travelers to Japan as they can now stretch their dollars further than they have in years. More Americans (provided they have a well-paying job) can now take a vacation in Japan less expensively.
The number of foreign visitors to Japan is expected to reach 13 million this year. This is due in large part to the declining yen.
The decline in the yen is one thing that is in American tourists' favor. Another advantage is the expansion of duty-free stores. These, too, are big money-savers as consumption taxes are waived for foreign tourists.
The time is now to start planning a trip to Japan while it is cheaper to do so.
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