Japan starts ¥1,000 departure tax for travellers

11:58 | 07/01/2019

Japan on Monday (Jan 7) started levying a ¥1,000 (US$9.22) departure tax on each person leaving the country, a measure aimed at raising funds to further boost tourism.

japan starts 1000 departure tax for travellers
Tokyo is targeting 40 million tourists per day by 2020 when the Japanese capital hosts the Olympics. (Photo: AFP/Martin BUREAU)

The International Tourist Tax will cover everyone regardless of nationality - from business people to holidaymakers older than two years of age - and will be tacked on to the price of a airline ticket.

The government wants to use an estimated ¥50 billion it will generate in additional tax revenue to improve tourism infrastructure, such as making airport immigration processes faster and encouraging visitors to explore areas beyond traditionally popular destinations such as Tokyo and Kyoto.

Japan has been aggressively courting international tourists as a new pillar of economic growth.

More than 30 million foreigners are estimated to have visited Japan in 2018, a new record, thanks to a steady flow of tourists from Asia - particularly China, South Korea and Taiwan.

The nation aims to boost visitor figures to 40 million by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games.

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