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Japan expanding tax-free list from Oct 1 to get tourists to spend more

Tax exemption on purchases such as cosmetics, confectionery from Oct 1

Published on Aug 25, 2014 8:26 AM
Visitors and tourists walk on a shopping street in Asakusa district in Tokyo on July 17, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Come October, Japan is giving foreign tourists a new - and tax-free - incentive to visit.

Those buying confectionery, cosmetics and health goods will no longer have to pay tax on them from Oct 1, when these items are added to the country's tax-free list.

After welcoming a record 10.3 million overseas visitors last year, the government wants to keep the cash registers ringing, but is concerned that the sales tax will dampen spending.

This went up from 5 per cent to 8 per cent last April, and is expected to rise again to 10 per cent in October next year. Hence the tax-free move.

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