Japan's proposed departure tax draws mixed views, poses challenges
Kyodo -- Dec 27
Japan's planned introduction of a "departure tax" on international travelers has received a mixed response, with many questions yet to be answered about how the revenues will be spent.

Hopes are high that the recent tourism boom will continue beyond the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, when the government aims to attract 40 million visitors to the country that year.

But the surge in visitors is also making it imperative for debt-ridden Japan to secure enough funding to improve infrastructure and services for foreign tourists in a country that prides itself on its "omotenashi" hospitality.

Some visiting tourists appear supportive of the move to require each passenger to pay 1,000 yen ($8.9) every time they depart Japan by air or sea. But other travelers, including Japanese going abroad, are unconvinced how they are going to benefit from it.

"Paying a tax does not sound good," said Wang Pei Hsien, a 47-year-old tourist concluding a six-day visit from Taiwan. "But if I can get better services here, I think it's OK," she said before flying out of Tokyo's Haneda airport.

The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito party included the introduction of the new tax for international travelers in their reform package approved Thursday.

News source: Kyodo
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