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Politics

Japan's $9 departure tax goes into effect

Revenue from first new tax in 27 years will be used to promote tourism

Travelers about to leave Japan at Tokyo's Haneda Airport. (Photo by Kento Awashima)

TOKYO -- Japan on Monday introduced a departure tax of 1,000 yen ($9.20) for each person leaving the country by plane or ship, the first new tax in 27 years.

The tax will be tacked onto the price of plane and ship tickets.

Japanese and foreigners alike will be subject to the departure duty. Those making a stopover who are leaving Japan within 24 hours of arriving, passengers on ships that made a port call due to bad weather, and children under two years old are exempt. Ambassadors of foreign nations and state guests also will not be charged.

Furthermore, travelers whose air tickets were issued before Monday will be exempted.

The government expects the new tax to generate about 50 billion yen in revenue in fiscal 2019. The funds will be used for such purposes as installing facial-recognition gates at airports that speed up immigration procedures, increasing foreign-language services at tourist sites, and boosting the availability of cashless payment options.

The number of visitors to Japan surpassed 30 million for the first time in 2018, and the figure is expected to keep growing.

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