Business

¥1,000 departure tax in pipeline to bolster tourism

JIJI

The government is considering charging a ¥1,000 departure tax on all people to secure funding for tourism infrastructure and promotion, according to informed sources.

The new tax will likely be imposed on both Japanese and non-Japanese people to ensure fairness, the sources said. Similar levies have been adopted in other countries.

Aiming to introduce the levy in fiscal 2018 starting April, the government and Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling bloc will look to include the plan in a tax reform package for the year, the sources said.

The government wants 40 million people to be visiting Japan each year by 2020, when the Tokyo Olympics will be held.

The new tax is expected to bring in ¥40 billion to ¥50 billion in extra revenue each year. A plan is being studied to add the levy to airfares and ship fares, the sources said.

The levy may face a delay as the government time explains the new system to the tourism industry and the public, pundits said. Airlines and cruise lines also may raise objections, they said.

The levy may also slow the pace of tourists to Japan, they added.