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Thursday, 15th May 2014
In General Japan News,

Japanese retailers tempt foreign buyers

Shopping complexes and prominent department stores in Japan are tempting foreign buyers with tax-free offers, it has emerged, with an aging local population being named as the main reason for targeting the tourist yen.

This is according to the Japan Daily Press, which also pointed towards a recent tax hike implemented by the government in an attempt to counterbalance vast amounts of inflation to the yen, as applied by prime minister Shinzo Abe. However, while this is having the desired effect on the economy, it has curbed spending among locals.

For this reason, tourists can increasingly find offers for tax-free shopping, particularly among extensive shopping centres, as brands fight to attract foreign buyers.

The move is advantageous at this time as Japan has taken to marketing itself in an aggressive fashion as a particularly exciting tourist destination in Asia in the run-up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

There is already an extensive list of products that can be purchased without tax with permission from the government, although efforts are being made to add items including cosmetics and some foodstuffs.

Visitors to Japan may also notice an increase in department stores offering special services such as personal shoppers or concierges, as well as tax refund counters and foreign exchange currency stations. 

If you're keen to hit the shops during your holiday, there are plenty of places to do so. Tokyo's extensive entertainment wards of Shibuya, Roppongi and Shinjuku contain plenty of prime places to blow some cash, while Akihabara offers plenty of opportunity to purchase technical goods or manga comics.

Elsewhere, Osaka's fashionable Namba district is home to dozens of high-end fashion stores, while Kyoto features a unique mix of ultra modern retailers up against stores with hundreds of years of history.

Wherever you shop in Japan, you're sure to find the perfect bargain.

Written by Susan Ballion