Japan is to pay families with 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo this year to combat rapid population growth in the country’s rural areas, according to reports. Under this new proposal, a family with two children can receive 3 million yen in aid if they leave the Tokyo area.
The government expects 10,000 people to move from Tokyo to rural areas by 2027 under the project, which began in 2019. Last year, the government assisted 1,184 families, compared to 290 in 2020 and 71 in 2019.
Aid for children comes on top of the flat 1 million yen that families can already get for moving, Time Magazine Report. Those eligible to apply for assistance funds are families who have lived in the central Tokyo metropolitan area for five years.
The central government and local municipalities are sharing the cost of the fund. Additional support will also be provided if families want to start businesses in the local area.
However, demanding 1 million yen to move to a beautiful rural town is not as easy as it sounds. Families hoping to receive assistance must have lived in their new home for at least five years and one family member must be employed or planning to open a new business. Those who move out before five years have to return the cash.
In an effort to draw crowds, the amenities of Japan’s towns and villages are constantly being highlighted. Among them are the availability of “worthy men” like Otari Village and the availability of childcare.
As more young people move away for opportunities in the cities, Japan’s rural areas have seen rapid population growth in recent years. Officials hope the lucrative amount will encourage families to revitalize the areas and ease pressure on space and public services in greater Tokyo, The Guardian Report.
It is the latest attempt to revitalize the regions amid a further decline in Japan’s population and birth rate. In 2021, the total number of births was 811,604, the lowest since records were first kept in 1899.
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