Since 2004, the law required that the consumption tax (Shohi-zei) must be included in the price tag of the store. It was somewhat easy, because we could buy items without calculating the tax by ourselves.
As you know, the consumption tax is going to go up to 8% in this coming April, and is supposed to go up to 10 % in near future. This change obviously has a big impact on the tax-included price, and the store owners are required to change the price tags in such a short span.
With this change, the government has decided to adopt immediate measures and allowed the store owners not to use tax-included price, until 31st March 2017.
Therefore, you will see both the tax-included price and tax-excluded price mixed up together from April. Even if the cleanser you want is cheaper in one shop compared to the other shops, you might end up finding that price actually did not include tax.
For your information, major supermarkets have decided to use tax-excluded price.
Hazuki Kobayashi (Attorney at Law)