Japan introduces a ‘sayonara tax’ on all travellers leaving the country

Illustration by Twylamae
Words by Tara Smith


Looks like your trip to Japan just got a little more expensive.

As of January 7, all travellers leaving Japan will be charged a ‘sayonara tax’, which applies to both locals and foreigners exiting the country.

The fee is ¥1000 (approx. $12 AUD), and will be added to both air and sea transport fares. According to the Japan Times, the tax was introduced to prepare for the large influx of foreign visitors predicted for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It will be used to provide smoother travel services, increase immigration processing speeds as well as promoting tourism resources in regional areas.

The Japanese government estimates the tax will generate ¥50 billion (approx. $642 million AUD) to improve these services.

However, some exemptions have been allowed. Children under the age of two will not have to pay the tax, as well as visitors who spend less than 24 hours in Japan. This includes any traveller that is forced to enter the country because of unavoidable circumstances (i.e. bad weather and flight reroutes).

If you ask us, it’s the perfect excuse to visit Japan and never leave.

For more info on the new tax, head here.


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