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October 16, 2019
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Japan starts charging $9 departure tax from travellers

TOKYO: Japan has started charging a 1,000 yen ($9.22) departure tax from each person leaving the country.

The measure is aimed at raising funds to further boost tourism.

The International Tourist Tax will be charged from everyone regardless of nationality — from business people to holidaymakers older than two years of age. The tax will be tacked on to the price of the airline ticket.

The government wants to use an estimated 50 billion yen ($460 million) it will generate in additional tax revenue to improve tourism infrastructures, such as making airport immigration processes faster and encouraging visitors to explore areas beyond traditionally popular destinations such as Tokyo and Kyoto.

The country has is focusing on international tourists to boost economic growth.

More than 30 million foreigners are estimated to have visited Japan in 2018, a new record, thanks to a steady flow of tourists from Asia —particularly China, South Korea and Taiwan.