• Kyodo

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Three municipalities at the foot of Mount Fuji have approved ordinances requiring anglers at Lake Kawaguchi to pay a 200 yen tax.

The town of Kawaguchiko and the villages of Ashiwada and Katsuyama separately passed the ordinance bills in extraordinary sessions of their local assemblies.

The new tax had received prior blessing from the Public Management Ministry. It marks the first specially designed tax to be approved under a law granting districts greater autonomy that was passed in April. It is also the first tax to be imposed on recreational fishing.

The tax will take effect around this summer after official approval from the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry and a three-month notification period, officials of the three local governments said.

According to Kawaguchiko town officials, black bass fishing at the lake, one of the five lakes at the foot of the 3,776-meter mountain, has gained popularity in recent years, with as many as 300,000 anglers flocking to the area each year.

But parking spaces in the area are in short supply and local residents complain about garbage left by anglers.

The tax will be added to a 1,000 yen fishing permit, the officials said. The municipalities are projecting added revenue of more than 40 million yen, they said.

The revenue will be used to improve facilities.

Kawaguchiko Mayor Tsuneo Osano said, “The new tax will provide cost-effective facilities. We are confident the anglers will understand it.”

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