Consumers in Japan, both native and foreign, will pay sales taxes for overseas online purchases from Thursday for such things as e-books and music downloads in a policy change aimed to eliminate price advantages enjoyed by foreign-based companies over domestic rivals.

Consumers living in Japan have traditionally been exempt from taxation when purchasing products from foreign-based operators such as

Under the new changes, Internet shoppers will pay an 8 percent consumption tax, which will rise to 10 percent in April 2017, regardless of where the companies they purchase from are located.