Sayonara: You Now Have to Pay If You Want to Leave Japan

Jan 8, 2019

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We may have just found your excuse to stay in Japan forever. As of Monday, the country introduced a new tax on visitors, appropriately called the “sayonara tax.” In other words: If you want to leave, you’ll have to pay — ¥1,000, to be exact (about $9 US dollars). The tax will be added on to plane tickets and ship fares for all passengers who are departing.

The tax is allegedly going to be used for more travel-friendly services, such as facial recognition at airports, free Wi-Fi on public transportation and even more language translations at popular tourist attractions after the fees add up over time. The government expects to amass ¥50 billion ($461 million) by the end of the year… Just in time for the Olympics in 2020.

Children under two are exempt from the fee, as are people who are only there for 24 hours or less — same goes for anyone who is forced to enter because of unavoidable circumstances, such as if your plane has to reroute. While this new tax definitely shouldn’t deter you from going, at least now some of your money will go toward making trips even better for future visitors.

Japan isn’t the first country to impose taxes like this on tourists. This past summer, Croatia increased the amount of taxes travelers need to enter the country by 25%.

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