Published On: Sat, Nov 19th, 2016

Airports to set up duty-free shops for arriving passengers

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TOKYO — Japanese airports will be allowed to provide duty-free shopping to arriving international passengers from fiscal 2017 to encourage foreign tourists to spend more money when entering the country, ruling party sources said Friday.

As part of an envisioned tax system reform Japan also plans to remove five countries such as China from a group of countries subject to a preferential tariff system aimed at favoring developing markets from fiscal 2019, the sources said.

These plans will be included in the tax reform plan to be approved in December by the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito party following discussions at their tax committees, the sources said.

Currently, tax-free shops at airports are only located in departure lounges. But as an increasing number of overseas airports allow arriving passengers to purchase duty-goods, Japan will follow suit to encourage foreign travelers and Japanese people returning home to spend more money when arriving in Japan, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the government and the ruling parties plan to revise the preferential tariff system and remove China, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and Malaysia from the program, judging they do not need to receive favorable treatment for imports because they have achieved economic growth and expanded exports.

The five are among countries categorized by the World Bank as earning medium to high income for three consecutive years and those whose share of global exports is 1 percent or higher. Japan will apply the standard to shorten the list of countries that can receive favorable tariff treatment, the sources said.

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