Japan’s media reports say a 1,000 yen (equivalent to some$9.22) departure tax was launched in the country on January 7 for each person leaving Japan.  The measure is reportedly aimed at at raising funds to further boost tourism.

Japan’ TV and Radio Company NHK says the International Tourist Tax will cover everyone leaving the country by air or sea regardless of nationality — from business people to holidaymakers older than two years of age.  Travelers are to pay the tax when buying tickets. But transit passengers who leave Japan within 24 hours and infants aged younger than two will be exempted from the taxation.

This is the first new national tax to be launched by Japan since a land value tax was introduced 27 years ago, according to NHK.

The government wants to use an estimated about 55 billion yen (equivalent to about $460 million) it will generate annually in additional tax revenue to improve tourism infrastructure, such as making airport immigration processes faster and encouraging visitors to explore areas beyond traditionally popular destinations such as Tokyo and Kyoto.

More than 30 million foreigners are estimated to have visited Japan in 2018, a new record, thanks to a steady flow of tourists from Asia — particularly China, South Korea and Taiwan.

The nation reportedly aims to boost visitor figures to 40 million by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games.