Jan. 3 (UPI) — Japan is offering families who live in Tokyo 1 million yen ($7,500) per child to move out of the capital and into other towns and villages.
The new offer represents an increase of over 300% from the old offer of 300,000 yen. It will be introduced in April as officials try to revive areas with declining birthrates and aging populations.
The program is part of Japan’s Infrastructure Development Plan for a Digital Garden City Nation, which is aimed at regional revitalization through the promotion of relocation to rural areas by means of digitization.
Those moving also have to meet one of three conditions: employment at a small or midsize company in the area they relocate to, continuing their pre-relocation work via the Internet or starting a business in their new area of residence.
According to Nikkei Asia, relocation support was provided to 1,184 families in fiscal 2021, rising from 290 in 2020 and 71 in 2019. Officials hope that the program will help reduce pressure on public services in Tokyo, which has a population of 35 million.
The government is hoping 10,000 people will have moved from Tokyo to rural areas by 2027, it added.
The population of the world’s third-biggest economy suffered a record fall of 644,000 in 2020-21, according to government data. It is expected to plummet from its current 125 million to an estimated 88 million in 2065 — a 30% decline in 45 years.
In 2021, there were just 811,604 births, the lowest amount since records were kept in 1899.
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