The number of Japanese visitors surged during the first eight months this year despite Seoul and Tokyo wrangling over territorial and historical disputes.
As many as 2.5 million Japanese visited South Korea during the January-August period, up 23.3 percent from a year earlier, according to figures from the Justice Ministry.
August also witnessed a rise of 6.5 percent to 345,163 Japanese visitors amid heightening tensions between the two neighbors over Japan's renewed claim over South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo.
Japan took control of the rocky islets in 1905 when Japan effectively nullified South Korea's sovereign right to diplomacy on its way to colonizing the Korean Peninsula between 1910 and 1945.
A total of 6.8 foreigners visited South Korea during the first eight months, up 24.8 percent from the same period last year.
Japan took first place, followed by 1.81 million Chinese visitors, up 36.7 percent from a year earlier, and 490,000 Americans, up 5.9 percent.
Taiwan came in fourth with 380,000 visitors, Hong Kong fifth with 220,000 and Thailand sixth with 200,000. (Yonhap News)