The Japanese government is providing 1 million yen ($7,500) per child to families leaving greater Tokyo, in an effort to reverse population decline in the areas.
The incentive — a significant rise from the previous transfer fee of 300,000 yen — will be introduced in April, according to Japanese media reports, as part of an official campaign to breathe life into run-down towns and villages.
despite Tokyo’s population decreased For the first time in the past year — a trend attributed in part to the coronavirus pandemic — policymakers believe more should be done to reduce the city’s population density and Encouraging people to start a new life In the “unfashionable” parts of the country that have experienced an aging, shrinking population, young people migrate to Tokyo, Osaka, and other big cities.
The amount — which comes on top of up to 3 million yen already available in financial support — will be offered to families living in 23 “core” wards in Tokyo and other parts of the metropolitan area and neighboring commuter belt prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa.
To get the benefits, families must move outside the greater Tokyo area, Kyodo news agency said, citing officials, though some may receive the money if they move to mountainous areas within the city limits.
Some 1,300 municipalities – nearly 80% of the total – have joined the scheme, hoping to benefit from a shift in public attitudes towards quality of life that gained momentum during the pandemic, when more workers discovered the benefits of remote working.
However, families hoping for an easy paycheck before returning to the capital will be disappointed. They must have lived in their new home for at least five years and a family member must be in business or plan to open a new business. Those who leave before five years have passed will have to return the money.
Officials hope the generous sums offered will encourage families with children up to the age of 18 to revitalize districts and ease pressure on public space and services in greater Tokyo, the world’s largest city of nearly 35 million.
In principle, families moving elsewhere receive between one and three million yen per family provided they meet one of three criteria: employment at a small or medium-sized company in the area to which they are moving; continuing their old jobs by working remotely; Or starting a business in their new home, according to Nikkei Business. After higher payments are factored in, a family with two children can be eligible for up to 5 million yen.
Kyodo said half of the money will come from the central government and the other half from local municipalities.
The program has struggled to capture the public’s imagination since its launch three years later, Nikkei said, with support being provided to 1,184 households in 2021 – the year remote work became more common – compared to 71 in 2019 and 290 in 2020.
She added that the government hopes 10,000 people will move from Tokyo to rural areas by 2027.
To attract new residents, emptied Japanese towns and villages highlight the charm of rural life, easy access to underserved child care, and in the case of Otari village in Nagano Prefecture, Availability of eligible men.
The latest attempt to revitalize the regions comes amid another setback Japanpopulation.
the Population of the world’s third-largest economy suffered a record 644,000 decline in 2020-2021, according to government data. It is expected to drop from the current 125 million to an estimated 88 million in 2065 – a decrease of 30% in 45 years.
While the number of people over the age of 65 continues to grow, The birth rate remains stubbornly low At 1.3 children – well below the 2.1 required to maintain current population size.
In 2021, the number of births reached 811,604, the lowest level since records were first kept in 1899. By contrast, the number of births centenarians It stands at over 90,500 — compared to just 153 in 1963.