2024年3月23日土曜日

OSAKA PREFECTURE EYES COLLECTING FIXED FEE FOR INBOUND TOURISTS FROM YEAR 2025

OSAKA PREFECTURE EYES COLLECTING FIXED FEE FOR INBOUND TOURISTS FROM YEAR 2025

@Jackie San


Osaka Prefecture is considering collecting a fixed fee from foreign visitors, possibly timing it around the start of the World Exposition in western Japan in April 2025, its governor said Wednesday.


The fee would be used to fund "overtourism" countermeasures. Currently, there is no taxation scheme introduced by local governments in Japan specifically targeting foreigners, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication.


The ministry said it needs to gain the consent of the internal affairs minister to establish such a system, the details for which have yet to be worked out.


The prefectural government also needs to clear some hurdles to introduce the scheme, such as making sure the levy system is consistent with the country's tax conventions.


"We want foreign visitors to enjoy Osaka and try to realize a coexistence with local residents through the beautification of towns," Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura told reporters.


The prefectural government plans to launch a panel to discuss the matter in April.


The prefecture currently levies an accommodation tax of 100 to 300 yen on room fees of 7,000 yen or more per night, whether the guests are Japanese or foreign nationals. Yoshimura suggested the proposed amount of the fixed fee around the same.


Since the Osaka prefectural and city governments plan to open a so-called integrated resort featuring casinos in 2030 on Yumeshima, an artificial island in the Osaka Bay and the venue for the 2025 Expo, the prefecture needs measures to mitigate the impact of "overtourism," according to Yoshimura.


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