Leav­ing Ja­pan will cost vis­i­tors $9

USA TODAY International Edition - - LIFE -

Leav­ing Ja­pan will get a lit­tle costlier for travelers start­ing this week.

Ja­pan’s Na­tional Tax Agency Min­istry in Fi­nance on Mon­day in­sti­tuted the “In­ter­na­tional Tourist Tax” on most in­ter­na­tional travelers leav­ing Ja­pan. It is widely known as the “say­onara tax.”

Air­lines and cruise lines must col­lect the tax from all pas­sen­gers, with a few ex­cep­tions, upon de­par­ture and give it to the gov­ern­ment of Ja­pan.

The pas­sen­gers will have to pay the tax be­fore they board the cruise or flight.

In­ter­na­tional tourists leav­ing Ja­pan must pay 1,000 yen per de­par­ture. That is about $9.

Those who will not have to pay the tax in­clude ship air­craft crew mem­bers, peo­ple be­ing de­ported, those who are in Ja­pan for less than 24 hours, cruise pas­sen­gers who en­ter the coun­try due to weather or other un­con­trol­lable cir­cum­stances, and chil­dren younger than 2.

Diplo­mats and U.S. and United Na­tions armed forces per­son­nel trav­el­ing for official pur­poses will also be ex­empt.

On its web­site, the agency says the tax will “ex­pand and en­hance Ja­pan’s tourist in­fra­struc­ture in an effort to make Ja­pan the top tourist des­ti­na­tion.”

Tokyo is sched­uled to host the 2020 sum­mer Olympics and will likely gen­er­ate mil­lions of dol­lars through this tax.

FRANCK ROBICHON/EPA-EFE

Vis­i­tors to Ja­pan will have to pay a tax to leave.

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