Japan’s Tourism Agency to Publicize Names of Companies Arranging Illegal ‘White Taxi’ Services

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism & Tourism Agency

The Japan Tourism Agency is reportedly making adjustments to reveal the names of online travel agencies (OTAs) that continue to facilitate arrangements for so-called ‘white taxis’ if no improvements are made. This was disclosed by Shunsuke Takei, a member of the House of Representatives from the Liberal Democratic Party, on his own platform X (formerly Twitter).

‘White taxis’ refer to illegal taxi operations using private, white-plated vehicles instead of officially licensed green-plated vehicles. Violators can be imprisoned for up to three years or fined up to 3 million yen under the Road Transport Act. Additionally, users may not be compensated in case of accidents. The Japan Tourism Agency is expected to address this issue by the end of the year.

Our magazine has confirmed that Booking.com, Klook, and Agoda, three companies, are arranging ‘white taxis’. KKday has also acknowledged the fact.

Shunsuke Takei has been elected to the House of Representatives four times as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. After working for Miyazaki Kotsu and Rakuten, he became a Miyazaki Prefectural Assembly member in 2006 and was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012. He is knowledgeable about tourism policy, including his contribution to the recent amendment of the Ryokan Business Law on December 13.

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