Japan Introduces New Year Tourist Tax On Monday 7 January

Effective from Monday, 7th January 2019, visitors to Japan will pay a 1,000 yen departure tax to expand and enhance the country’s tourist infrastructure — a small tax that will make a significant difference.

Revenue from the International Tourist Tax will be allocated to the following three areas:

1.Create a more comfortable, stress-free tourist environment.

2.Improve access to information about a wide variety of attractions of Japan.

3.Develop tourist resources taking advantage of the unique cultural and natural assets of respective regions.

Please note that travellers meeting certain conditions, such as “children under the age of 2” and “those leaving Japan on or after January 7, 2019, using an air ticket issued before January 7, 2019,” are exempt from paying the “International Tourist Tax”.

Japan plans to use revenue from its new departure tax to set up facial recognition gates at airports to speed immigration flow. It also plants to use more multilingual information boards and add cashless payment terminals on public transport. The country aims to boost the number of foreign visitors to 40 million by 2020, in time for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Of course they will still promote their, ‘Tax Free Shopping’ – is this a conflict of interest, taking with one had, giving with the other?

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