Japan starts levying departure tax to increase funds for boosting tourism

The tax will be automatically tacked on to the price of a flight or boat ticket departing Japan

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(Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Jan. 7, Japan begins to impose a departure tax of 1,000 yen (about US$9.25) on any person over two years old who is leaving the country at a port of entry, without regard to whether they are Japanese or foreigners, according to a Chinese-language Liberty Times report on Monday.

The report said the tax will be automatically tacked on to the price of a flight or boat ticket departing Japan.

Citing Kyodo News, the report said Japan decided to levy the International Tourist Tax, beginning on Jan. 7, to ensure more revenues for boosting Japan’s tourism before Tokyo 2020.

The Japanese government will infuse expected revenue of 50 billion yen generated from the departure tax this year into boosting tourism in Japan in hopes of achieving the goals of attracting 40 million foreigners to visit Japan by 2020 and encouraging visitors to explore areas beyond traditionally popular destinations such as Tokyo and Kyoto, according to Liberty Times.

The report also said the Japanese government had planned to use the new tax revenue on the three domains: creating well-facilitated and comfortable traveling environments, promoting charms of Japan, and enhancing the level of tourist satisfaction. The departure tax is the first new tax imposed by the Japanese government since the land value tax in 1992.