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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Japan Offer Families a Million Yen Per Child to Flee Tokyo

The incentive will be implemented in April as part of an official campaign to revitalize failing towns and villages

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JAPAN: In an effort to stop the population decrease in the outlying areas, the Japanese government is giving families who relocate outside of greater Tokyo 1 million yen ($7,500) per kid.

According to Japanese media sources, the incentive will be implemented in April as part of an official campaign to revitalize failing towns and villages. It is a significant increase over the previous relocation fee of 300,000 yen.

Tokyo’s population fell for the first time last year

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Even though Tokyo’s population fell for the first time last year, a trend partially attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.

More, in the opinion of policymakers, should be done to entice individuals to establish new lifestyles in “unfashionable” regions of the nation that have been impacted by population decline, ageing, and the exodus of youth to Tokyo, Osaka, and other major cities.

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The payment will be made to families residing in the 23 “core” wards of Tokyo and the neighboring commuter-belt prefectures of Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa. This payment is in addition to the up to $3 million in financial help that is already available.

Families must leave the greater Tokyo area to qualify for the benefits, though some may qualify if they move to hilly regions inside the city, according to authorities quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

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Approximately 1,300 towns, or 80% of the total, have signed up for the program in an effort to take advantage of a change in public attitudes regarding the quality of life that intensified during the epidemic as more workers learned the advantages of working remotely.

However, families looking to get a quick paycheck before heading back to the capital will be dissatisfied. One household member must be employed or have plans to start a new business, and they must stay in their new house for at least five years. The money must be returned if the tenant vacates the property before five years have passed.

The significant grants are intended to encourage families with children up to the age of 18 to revitalize areas and relieve demand on public services and space in greater Tokyo, the largest metropolis in the world with a population of about 35 million.

According to the Nikkei business newspaper, relocating families in principle receive 1m-3m per household if they meet one of three requirements: employment at a small or midsize firm in their new community, remote work at their prior positions, or launching a business in their new residence.

A family with two children may be eligible for up to $5 million if the increased payments are taken into account. According to Kyodo, the local municipalities would contribute half of the funding, and the federal government would provide the other half.

Since the program’s debut three years ago, 1,184 families received support, compared to 71 in 2019 and 290 in 2020, the Nikkei reported. This is despite the fact that teleworking became increasingly prevalent in that year. By 2027, the government hopes that 10,000 individuals will have relocated from Tokyo to rural areas.

Japan’s hollowed-out towns and villages have promoted the benefits of country living, easy access to childcare that is in high demand, and, in the instance of Otari village in Nagano prefecture, the availability of eligible males in order to draw in new residents.

The most recent initiative to revitalize the areas coincides with yet another decline in Japan’s population.

According to government figures, the population of the third-largest economy in the world decreased by a record-breaking 644,000 in 2020–21. From its present 125 million to a projected 88 million in 2065, it is predicted to shrink precipitously, a 30% drop in 45 years.

The birthrate is chronically low at 1.3 children, much below the 2.1 needed to maintain the current population size, even as the number of people over 65 continues to rise.

Also Read: Russia Detains Japan Consul on Spying Charge, Tokyo Retaliates

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