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Japan begins collecting departure tax to fund inbound tourism promotion

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The tax income will be allocated mainly for three purposes -- providing smoother travel services, facilitating access to information on the country's tourist attractions, and improving visitor satisfaction levels by promoting tourism resources in regional areas such as unique local culture and natural features -- according to the government's policy.

I'll believe it when I see it. There is no way any of that money is going to end up in the places it is destined to, unless its the pockets of some top government officials, but of course we are not allowed to say that or see where all the money goes to.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Yeah, well, Japan’s track record for using funds isn’t so shiny, remember the March 11 disaster funds that ended up helping the... whaling industry! Yep, stay tuned and keep an eye on where these taxes go.

That guy, leaning over into the clerk’s workspace? No. So rude. She knows what she’s doing.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Hahaha, nothing says ;"Don't come back, like a Departure TAX" !

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"It will be necessary to check that the funds are not being used on less productive measures, but in ways that taxpayers find convincing," 

Amen to that.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

For the money-hungry politicians who thought up this wheeze it's just like taking candy from babies so that they can continue to entertain enjoying their blue-fin tuna sushi washed down with bottles of the best nihonshu, or so suspicious citizens might reasonably surmise.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Just a money grab!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

So, in an effort to attract more visitors they tax the ones that are leaving. Yeah, that makes perfect 'Japanese' sense.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Hmmmmm.....  Not like taxes here aren't already astronomical.   And don't we constantly read that many of the more popular tourist spots are overrun with tourists.  And that tourist numbers keep going up yoy? so is this really needed?

Finally, agree that this will just go into the general government swag bag and likely be spent on nothing to do with the stated purposes.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

My worry is that when you buy tickets the price will be increased much more than Y1000, with the excuse that it is the tax. This is an easy way for travel companies or airlines to jack up prices with a great excuse.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Governments do not have any money, whatever a politician has to spend/give away is first taken from your pocket, so any tax is a "money grab". This is a small enough sum that the vast majority of passengers will not even notice it, especially if simply included in the ticket price from the outset, but if as MarkX said it is used as an excuse to boost prirofit margins then yes that probably will have a negative impact on visitor numbers.

How it will be spent? Given the record of politicians generally to waste money, I wouldn't hold my breath.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The government is desperate for cash, and the primary tax levers - income tax and sales tax - are difficult to use now, so they have to cast around for all these secondary sources of revenue. (e.g. look what they've being quietly doing to the inheritance tax over the last few years).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh, lucky me. I departed Narita on 2 January.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Holidaymakers always go for cheaper packages, so even if it's only 1,000 yen, the rise in (tour) prices will be a huge burden for us,"...I dont think that will be the case, what you have not taken into consideration is its cost a backpacker from the UK around a £900 in flights +food+ accommodation + spending money, another £7.00 is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"outbound"; if you don't leave you don't pay...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some Higher Ups have been listening to the tune Hotel California and decided that "You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, but You Can Never Leave" is the way to increase business.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How can it be "tacked on" if you buy the ticket overseas? Am I missing something?

It is included in the price of the airline ticket whether bought in Japan or overseas. Same as any other airport/immigration/transit tax.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It plans to use the money mostly for introducing more facial recognition gates at air and seaports

Would these be the new gates I saw at Narita the other day that are only allowed to be used by Japanese? How will spending money on those gates help promote inbound tourism?

I expect most of the money will be spent employing retired bureaucrats who will do nothing productive whatsoever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YongYang

I think he's just putting his bags onto the scale.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What a great idea! I'm not sure why I didn't think of doing something similar myself. Maybe I'll go down the road from my place and start charging motorists on R246 to pay up before leaving Shizuoka-ken.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Taxing egress but not ingress. Reminds me of a driving trip we took to Mexico. There were many lanes open going in to Mexico, but the Mexican authorities had only one lane open going back to the States. Made for a slow exit.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How can it be "tacked on" if you buy the ticket overseas? Am I missing something?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Should be built into price of ticket..... That's how you streamline!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

2500 yen and another 1000 yen on top?

Slowly expensive Japan is becoming a ripoff....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You know the money is going straight down the toilet when they can't even decide on what the money is being used for:

to fund measures to attract more foreign visitors in the run-up to and beyond the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics

OR -

providing smoother travel services, facilitating access to information on the country's tourist attractions, improving visitor satisfaction levels by promoting tourism resources in regional areas such as unique local culture and natural features 

OR -

mostly for introducing more facial recognition gates at air and seaports and making more information available in multiple languages at cultural properties

Make up your mind - which is it?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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