Both Japanese and foreign travellers will be affected

Japan will introduce a 1,000 yen ‘Sayonara Tax’ for travellers, starting in January 2019.

According to The Straits Times, all travellers leaving Japan will need to pay a ‘Sayonara Tax’ of 1,000 yen from 7 January 2019 – in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Announced by Japanese Parliament, Diet, the bill is estimated to bring in 43 billion yen per fiscal year. 4o million departures including 17 million from Japanese nationals were recorded in 2016. 28.69 million tourists visited Japan in 2017, an increase of 19.3% from the previous year. 25% of the total number of tourists visiting Japan last year came from China and South Korea.

Both Japanese and foreign travellers leaving the country by plane or ship will incur the tax that will be added onto their plane or ship ticket. Only those under the age of 2 and transit passengers leaving Japan within 24 will be exempt.

Revenue from the tax will go to tourism-related projects including the installation of gates equipped with facial recognition.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes to increase the number of tourists visiting Japan to 40 million by 2020 and to 60 million by 2030.