Earlier today, June 26, 2012, the House of Representative of Japan passed the bill to increase the sales tax to 8% in 2014, then 10% in 2015.
The bill will be passed to House of Councillors. However, Japanese Constitution prefers the decision of the House. Therefore, the sales tax increase is set to start in 2014.
The current sales tax of Japan is 5%.
But it will be raised to 8% on April 1, 2015.
Additionally, it will add another 2% on October 1, 2016 to 10%.
The Japanese Government, and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda pursuafe to the public that they need to increase the tax to reduce the budget deficit, and try to sustain the social welfare including pension, child care and other social welfares.
According to the Japanese tax laws, the international travelers could avoid paying the sales tax.
However, you must purchase the products at the duty free shops, and apply the money back at the airport counter desk.
In order to receive the benefits of duty free, you must be non-resident of Japan..