Japan and the Diet meeting approve ¥1,000 departure tax law

A recent bill that was passed specifies how revenue from a ¥1,000 departure tax will be used has been enacted by the Diet on Tuesday, as the government looks to boost tourism despite the number of foreign visitors increasing.


All travelers, both locals and foreigners, who leave the nation by plane or ship will pay a fee as of January 7, 2019, under the first introduced levy since the land value tax was established in 1992. Children below 2 years and transit passengers who depart within 24 hours after arriving are exempt.


Seeking to capitalize and profit on one of the growth sectors in the slowly dying country, the government hopes to raise extra funds to boost tourism and promote travel destinations in rural Japan as well as supporting international tourism campaigns.


The government also plans to ask public transportation operators to expand free wireless internet services as well as electronic payment systems in an attempt to increase tourism in Japan.


Japan saw around 45.2 million enter and leave in 2017, according to a Japan Times calculation. This is based on data compiled by the Ministry of Justice, which means the new tax could generate around ¥45 billion annually. However, some critics say the extra fee could backfire and worsen the travel appetites of tourists.


Similar levies have been adopted in other countries, an example is Australia. It charges people $60 Australian tax while the U.S. of A. has a $14 fee on international travelers from countries in its visa waiver program. South Korea imposes, believe it or not, a 10,000 won departure fee for air travelers.


The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Osaka Prefectural Government charge a lodging tax of ¥100 to ¥300 per person per night to finance tourism promotion and other measures.


photo credit to: https://japantoday.com


Reference: Japan’s ¥1,000 departure tax: Diet approves law on use of revenue from levy set to start in 2019


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