Tokyo families are offered 1 million yen per child to relocate to the country. The Japanese government is offering more incentives for families to relocate from crowded cities to rural areas with declining populations.
According to The Guardian, beginning in April, families will be offered 1 million yen (roughly $7,500) per child to relocate from Tokyo to rural areas that have seen population declines.
To counteract the migration of young people to large cities like Tokyo and Osaka, the Japanese government has reduced the relocation fee from 300,000 yen per child to a more palatable 50,000 yen.
Families in the 23 “core” wards of Tokyo and the neighboring commuter neighborhoods of Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa will be eligible for the program, as they are already eligible for up to 3 million yen of additional support from the government.
The program is set up so recipients can’t just run back to Washington with the money. After receiving their new homes, the families have five years to settle in with at least one working household member or launch a new business.
The money must be returned to the government if those conditions are not met.
Some say the coronavirus pandemic in 2022 caused Tokyo’s first-ever population decline, but lawmakers are concerned that the world’s largest city of 35 million people will continue to face overcrowding.
As the country continues to experience declining birthrates and a struggling economy, the rural towns and villages have been marketing themselves as family-friendly areas because of their charming locations, easy access to child care, and the availability of young men.
The 811,604 births in Japan in 2021 were the fewest since records began in 1899. In the meantime, the population of people aged 100 and up has increased to 90,500 from just 153 in 1963.