TOKYO — If you ever want to leave the Land of the Rising Sun, it’s going to cost you.
Japanese parliament has just passed a bill enforcing a new departure tax on travellers. Starting Jan. 7, 2019, a ¥1,000 (approximately Can$11) fee will be tacked on to tickets at point of purchase for those departing the country via plane or ship. The so-called ‘Sayonara Tax’ applies to both international and local travellers, and excludes children under two years old as well as visitors who are in Japan for less than 24 hours.
According to The Straits Times, the tax will be used towards improving infrastructure and introducing technological advancements such as facial recognition at airports and free Wi-Fi on public transportation.
Though annoying and unwanted at best, the Sayonara Tax is nothing compared to the U.K.’s similar Air Passenger Duty, or APD, tax. As reported by Condé Nast Traveler, all adult travellers flying out of the U.K. (except Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands) currently pay £78 (up from £75) for long-haul economy flights, and £156 (up from £150) for long-haul premium class flights, per person.
Australia also has a similar tax in place called the ‘Passenger Movement Charge’, which requires visitors to pay AUD60 (approximately Can$58) when departing for another country.