Signs above cash registers at a McDonald's near Yokota Air Base, Japan, explain new pricing after the country's 10% consumption tax took effect, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. THERON GODBOLD/STARS AND STRIPES
Signs above cash registers at a McDonald's near Yokota Air Base, Japan, explain new pricing after the country's 10% consumption tax took effect, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. THERON GODBOLD/STARS AND STRIPES

New 10% sales tax takes effect in Japan, raising the costs of off-base goods and services

by Seth Robson and Hana Kusumoto
Stars and Stripes

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — U.S. servicemembers in Japan will have to fork over a little more yen for off-base goods and services after the host nation raised its sales tax from 8% to 10% Tuesday.

The last time Japan increased the tax was in 2014, when it went from 5% to 8%. The latest tax increase was postponed twice by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but officials say it’s needed to fund social services. The cost of caring for the elderly and keeping the national debt under control is rising as Japan’s population ages.

The tax hike doesn’t apply to items such as food and drinks, except for alcohol and restaurant meals, to reduce the impact on low-income people, according to information posted online by Japan’s Ministry of Finance.

U.S. military personnel are already feeling the impact with train and taxi companies charging more.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.601227

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