The number of Japanese tourists coming to the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands dropped below 50 percent of all the visitors to the CNMI for the first time, in 2010.
The Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Perry Tenorio said this worrying scenario means there is a need to rebuild the CNMI's key tourist market of Japan.
Mr Tenorio has underscored the need to secure enough funding to properly promote the CNMI in this primary market, to not only diversify but rebuild the Japan market.
The MVA data shows that of the over 368,000 visitors in 2010, Japanese visitors totalled just under 183,000, less than 50 percent of the total arrivals.
In December 2010 alone, arrivals from Japan dropped 9 percent, coming in at just 14,279.