Japanese government offers families 1 million yen for one child to leave Tokyo | Japan

The Japanese government is offering 1 million yen ($7,500) per child to families relocating from greater Tokyo in an effort to reverse population decline in the regions.

The stimulus, a dramatic increase from the previous relocation fee of 300,000 yen, will be introduced in April as part of an official initiative to revive declining towns and villages, Japanese media reported.

Despite Tokyo’s population has dropped For the first time last year – a trend partially attributed to the coronavirus pandemic – policymakers believe more needs to be done to reduce the city’s population density, and encouraging people to start new lives in “outdated” areas of the country affected by aging, declining populations and the migration of young people to Tokyo, Osaka and other major cities.

Payment of up to 3 million yen, currently available in financial support, will be offered to families living in 23 “core” districts of Tokyo, other parts of the metropolitan area, and neighboring suburban-belt prefectures. Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa.

To receive benefits, families must move outside of the greater Tokyo area, but some may receive the money if they move to mountainous areas within the city’s borders, Kyodo news agency reported.

About 1,300 municipalities – roughly 80% of the total – have joined the program, hoping to capitalize on the shift in public attitudes towards quality of life that has gained momentum during the pandemic, as more workers are discovering the benefits of working remotely.

But families hoping for an easy payday before returning to the capital will be disappointed. They must have lived in their new home for at least five years, and one member of the household must be working or planning to start a new business. Those who leave before five years will have to return the money.

Officials hope the generous sums offered will encourage families with children up to 18 to revitalize areas and relieve pressure on space and utilities in Tokyo, the world’s largest metropolis with a population of around 35 million.

In principle, displaced families receive 1-3 million yen per household, provided they meet one of three criteria: work in a small or medium-sized company in the region they are relocating; who continue their old jobs with remote work; or starting a business in their new home, according to the Nikkei business newspaper. A family with two children can qualify for up to 5 million yen, after higher payments are taken into account.

Kyodo said that half of the money will come from the central government and the other half from local municipalities.

Nikkei said the plan has struggled to capture the public’s imagination since it was launched three years ago, with support provided to 1,184 families in 2021 as remote work becomes more commonplace, 71 families in 2019 and 290 families in 2020.

The government hopes that by 2027 10,000 people will have moved from Tokyo to rural areas.

To attract new residents, Japan’s carved towns and villages feature the charm of rural life, easy access to inadequate childcare, and, for example, Otari village in Nagano prefecture, availability of suitable men.

The latest attempt to revive the regions comes in the midst of another fall. Japan‘s population.

This population The world’s third-largest economy slumped by a record 644,000 in 2020-21, according to government data. It is expected to fall from the current 125 million to an estimated 88 million in 2065 – a 30% drop in 45 years.

While the number of people over 65 continues to increase, birth rate remains stubbornly low 1.3 children – well below the 2.1 required to maintain current population size.

The total number of births in 2021 was 811,604, the lowest since records were first kept in 1899. centennial More than 90,500 – compared to just 153 in 1963.

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