Photo/IllutrationTravelers leaving Japan will be required to pay 1,000 yen ($9.62) in departure tax from Jan. 7. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Passengers saying sayonara to Japan from Jan. 7 will leave with lighter pockets, after being hit with a departure tax of 1,000 yen ($9.62).

Anyone who is 2 years or older will be subject to the new tax, regardless of their nationality, when they leave Japan by air or sea. The tax will be added to their air and sea fares.

The departure tax is the first tax to be introduced in Japan in 27 years since the land value tax was established.

Travelers who are departing Japan within 24 hours after their arrival by air and passengers on an international cruise ship forced to call at a Japanese port due to bad weather or other emergency reasons will be exempt from the taxation.

The government said the new tax will be used to improve facilities for visitors from overseas to travel comfortably, to bolster Japan’s ability to offer online tourism information through social networking services and to enhance the quality of sightseeing resources to raise the satisfaction level.

In fiscal 2019, which starts in April, the government expects to collect 50 billion yen in tax revenue from the departure tax.

It will fund the installation of facial recognition gates at airports to make the entry and departure process for travelers smoother and facilitate the offering of explanations of cultural properties in more languages.