Japan’s initiative to depopulate their capital

by Subhechcha Ganguly

According to many media reports, the Japanese government will provide families with up to 1 million yen ($7,670) per child if they want to relocate outside of Tokyo. With an estimated 38 million residents, Tokyo is the largest urban area in the world. The government already provided families moving to different regions of the nation with 300,000 yen each child. Authorities are making the change in an effort to spread out Japan’s densely populated urban areas, increase dwindling birth rates, and diversify elderly populations in more rural areas.

However, the original strategy was ineffective because in 2021, just 2,400 people chose to participate in it. This is just 0.006% of Tokyo’s total population. Although the coronavirus pandemic and other factors contributed to Tokyo’s population decline last year, policymakers believe more should be done to lower the city’s population density and encourage people to settle in “unfashionable” regions of the nation that are suffering from population declines, ageing populations, and a migration of younger people to Tokyo, Osaka, and other major cities.

Families residing in the 23 “core” wards of Tokyo as well as the nearby commuter-belt prefectures of Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa will be qualified for the payment, which is in addition to the up to 3 million yen in financial aid that is already available, according to the newspaper.It’s not as simple as it sounds to get the one million Yen to move to a picture-perfect rural community, though. Families that wish to get assistance must have lived in their new residences for at least five years and have at least one member employed or intending to start a new business. The money must be returned if the tenant vacates the property before five years have passed.

The advantages of Japan’s towns and villages are frequently emphasised in an effort to entice tourists. Having “eligible men” available, like in the instance of Otari village, and having simple access to childcare are two of them. This is the most recent effort to boost the local economies in the face of yet another decline in Japan’s population and birthrate. The total number of births in 2021 was 811,604, which was the fewest since records began to be kept in 1899.

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