Readying For 2020, Tokyo Introduces New ‘Sayonara’ Tax

Anyone purchasing air or cruise tickets with Japan as one of their destinations may have noticed a new charge tacked onto their transportation fees recently. Last week, the Japanese government instituted its first new permanent tax since 1992, as the departure tax has come into full effect.

Applying to travelers departing from Japan’s airports and cruise terminals, the 1000 Japanese Yen charge, also coined the ‘Sayonara tax’ comes to about $9 USD per person. The tax applies to anyone over the age of 2, regardless of nationality.

The only exemptions are granted to anyone to enters the country because of ‘unavoidable circumstances’, such as flight reroutes and bad weather, along with anyone traveling to the country for less than 24 hours.

Per The Japan Times, the Japanese Government said that the tax aims to fund “a more comfortable, stress-free tourist environment.”

The government plans on spending the revenue generated from the tax on introducing more facial recognition at airports and seaports, as well as making more information available in multiple languages at cultural properties and national parks. (The Japan Times).

The nations of Australia, China, Costa Rica, Lebanon, Mexico and Sweden already have departure taxes of their own in place, so this is not a concept unique just to the host nation of next year’s Summer Olympic Games.

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