The Upper House plenary session passed and enacted the departure tax law, which will take effect on Jan. 7, 2019. Revenue will be exclusively used to promote tourism.
Those subject to the tax will be both foreign and Japanese nationals who are 2 years old or older and are leaving Japan by air or sea. The tax will be added to their air and sea fares.
Exceptions include airline crew members and people in transit who take connecting flights within 24 hours of entering Japan.
The Finance Ministry expects annual revenue of 43 billion yen from the new tax.
The international tourism promotion law that was amended on April 10 lists three fields for the use of the departure tax revenue: preparing a comfortable tourism environment; spreading information about Japan’s tourism attractions; and promoting a sense of fulfillment among travelers through improved tourism resources.
The Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party voted against the legislation, saying a purpose-specific tax could lead to wasteful spending.
The previous new national tax was the land value tax that was established in 1992.
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