• Kyodo

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A ceremony was held Monday to mark the opening of two duty-free shops for domestic travelers at Naha airport.

The duty-free shops, operated by U.S.-based DFS Group Ltd., the largest travel retailer in the world, are the first such shops in Japan.

The 1998 revised Okinawa promotion and development law allows duty-free shops to be opened for domestic travelers in Okinawa in a bid to promote the prefecture’s economic development.

Travelers leaving the prefecture are allowed to purchase 200,000 yen worth of duty-free items, including leather goods, alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, perfumes, wristwatches and jewelry.

The prices of the duty-free goods are between 20 percent and 40 percent cheaper than those of regular domestic retailers, according to the shops.

Okinawa Gov. Keiichi Inamine thanked those who worked to open the shops, saying, “Okinawa may become one of the great shopping destinations, on par with international counterparts, as it aims to lure 6.5 million tourists a year.”

The shops said they have a total of about 300 sq. meters in sales area and expect to expand to around 740 sq. meters.

DFS Group operates stores in the U.S., Australia, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand, Saipan and Singapore.

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