Osaka Ain’t Too Happy About All the Tourists, So They’re Talking Tourist Tax by 2025

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Looks like Osaka Prefecture is feeling the heat from the tourist overload, and city officials are eyeing up a tourist tax to dial things down.

According to Japan Today on Friday (8/3/2024), the Osaka Prefecture Government spilled the beans about plans to roll out the tax come April 2025.

They’re planning to use the tax dough to fund some moves to deal with the whole tourist overload situation. Right now, Osaka’s missing a specific tax setup aimed at foreigners, unlike some other local Japanese governments.

“The Ministry got the nod from the Minister of Internal Affairs to set up such a system, but we’re still hashing out the deets,” said the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

But before they get this tax train rolling, they gotta sort out a bunch of logistics, like making sure the tax system lines up with the national tax rules.

“We wanna make sure foreign visitors have a blast in Osaka and we’re aiming to strike a balance with the local folks through the city’s charm,” Governor Yoshimura chimed in.

They’re planning to kick off some serious talks about this issue in April.

Right now, if you’re crashing in Osaka and your room’s set you back ¥7,000 or more a night, you’re coughing up an accommodation tax ranging from ¥100 to ¥300. And get this, it doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist or a local, you’re paying the same tax. Yoshimura’s thinking of keeping the tax rate steady to keep things consistent.

“The Osaka Prefecture and City Governments have their eyes on setting up a swanky integrated resort with casinos by 2030 on Yumeshima Island. It’s also going to be the host of Expo 2025. But, the prefecture’s gonna need some fresh moves to handle the tourist overload,” Yoshimura added.

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