Spending by foreign visitors to Japan rose sharply in 2014. According to the 2015 white paper on tourism, spending by visitors to Japan last year such as on shopping and accommodation expenses is up 43.1 percent from 2013 to ¥2.03 trillion due to rising incomes in many other Asian countries, the high quality of Japanese products, the yen’s weakness against other major currencies and improvements to Japan’s duty-free system.
Spending by Chinese visitors accounted for 27.5 percent of the total consumption by foreign visitors as more Chinese tourists visited Japan for shopping purposes.
At the fifth meeting of the Ministerial Council on the Promotion of Japan as a Tourism-Oriented Country Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the government will issue 20,000 tax free licenses to shops across the country by 2020, effectively doubling an earlier promise in October 2014 to cabinet to authorise 10,000 throughout the country.
“Additionally, we will promote the creation of tax-free shops in shopping areas and elsewhere, expanding the current number of over 6,000 tax-free shops in the regions to around 20,000 shops by 2020.
“Furthermore, we will enhance the revenue-generating ability of tourism, doubling the 2 trillion yen ($15.8bn) spent by foreign tourists last year, such that in the year when 20 million tourists visit Japan, they will spend 4 trillion yen ($31.6bn).”