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Consumption Tax Has Risen to 8%

Mamadou previously studied in Japan. He found employment with a Japanese firm, and has now returned from Senegal. At a familiar café, today he is meeting up with Aya, a friend from his student days who he has not seen for some time.

Consumption Tax Has Risen to 8%

Aya

Mamadou, congratulations on your new job! So how do you find Japan after being away for a year?

Mamadou

Thanks for the congratulations. I must say that I am happy to be back. This café seems to be much the same as when we came here as students. However, when placing my order a moment ago, I realized the drink prices have increased a little. It also seems to be the same for my favorite omelet-rice...

Aya

You aren't wrong; prices have gone up because of the sales tax increase from 5% to 8% in April of this year.

Mamadou

So the reason for the increase in prices is the increase in sales tax, I suspected as much. I should say that I learned about the increase in sales tax via news on the Internet while I was still in Senegal, however, placing my order just now was my first actual experience of it.

Aya

Yes, I haven't become accustomed to it either yet. Although it is the case that most products and services have increased their prices only to cover the increase in sales tax, as with this café, there are some businesses that have rounded off fractions to units of ¥10 when setting their new prices.

Mamadou

Yes, if you think about it, it would be a hassle if we were to keep receiving change that included large volumes of ¥1 coins.

Aya

Also, in that depending on the business there are stores that display prices "tax exclusive" and others who display prices "tax inclusive," such differences are a good thing to keep in mind when paying for goods and services, or when comparing prices.

Mamadou

I see. So when I go shopping, I should make an effort to be aware of the manner in which prices are being displayed.

Mamadou then asks some questions about the adjustment of public transportation fares.

Mamadou

When I start my job, there will be a lot of traveling around involved. Is it correct to assume that train and bus fares have also increased?

Aya

Yes, that is correct. Moreover, matters have become more complex. If you use an IC card, fares will be set to the closest ¥1; however, if you purchase tickets, fares will be set to the closest ¥10. In other words, there will be a "dual fare system" in place.

Mamadou

So a "dual fare system" featuring both IC cards and tickets? In that case, using an IC card to pay fares will save me a few yen.

Aya

Yes, that is correct.

Mamadou

It is good to have heard such information. Accordingly, when traveling on routes other than those covered by my commuter pass; I will try and use an IC card.

●JR East Japan Links on the "Dual Fare System"
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pdf/fare_e_20140401.pdf