Visitors to Universal Studios Japan hit record high in FY 2016

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Movie theme park Universal Studios Japan in Osaka attracted a record number of visitors in fiscal 2016, with new attractions based on Japanese animation "One Piece" and the "Jurassic Park" film series the main draw, operator USJ Co. said Friday.

The company is projecting total visitors to the amusement park on Osaka's seafront at 14.50 million in the current business year ending this month, topping the previous record of 13.90 million visitors in fiscal 2015 and setting a new high for the third consecutive year.

Shows based on smash-hit manga series "One Piece," which started in July, and a roller coaster associated with the "Jurassic Park" movie series that began operating in March 2016 proved popular, it said.

USJ also attributed the rise in visitors to commemorative events last summer to mark the 15th anniversary of the theme park's opening.

A time-limited attraction based on the role-playing video game "Dragon Quest" also started Friday, with visitors able to battle monsters using weapons from the game.

A new area featuring Nintendo Co. video game characters will open by around 2020. Tokuhei Murata, an executive officer of USJ, said the operator hopes to increase the number of visitors by 2 million to 3 million through this and other projects.

==Kyodo

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