Starting January 2019, fares for travellers travelling to or from Japan will be going up after the country's Diet passed new legislation - called a "sayonara tax" - requiring departing travellers to pay a departure tax.

The new tax will require departing travellers from Japan - whether a citizen or visitor - to pay a fee of ¥1,000 (US$9.40) which will start on January 7, 2019. The fee will apply to plane or ship fares, while children under the age of two and transit passengers leaving Japan within 24 hours of their arrival will be exempted.

The Japanese government is planning to use the collected fees to make improvements for tourism infrasturcture and services which may include facial recognition gates as well as providing multilingual guides at national parks and cultural sites. These improvements are seen as a way to make the country more tourist friendly as Tokyo will host the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics.


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