at the time you compose it Its capital is among the most expensive cities in the world to live in, in addition to being among the most crowded in the world. Japan has offered to pay families out of overcrowded Tokyo, in an effort to revitalize rural towns and boost the flagging birth rate.
Starting next April, families living in the capital, Tokyo, will be eligible to receive 1 million yen ($7,700) per child if they move to less densely populated areas across the country, according to a central government spokesperson.
The incentives apply to children under the age of 18, or dependents who are 18 years or older if they are still in high school, according to CNN, which was seen by Al Arabiya.net.
This is not the first time that the government has tried to use financial incentives to encourage people to leave the capital, but this plan is more generous than 3 times the amount currently offered.
Over the decades, people across Japan migrated to urban centers in search of job opportunities.
Constant migration from rural towns
The population of Tokyo is approximately 37 million.
Before the Covid pandemic, the number of people moving to Tokyo outnumbered those leaving the city by as much as 80,000 each year, according to government statistics released in 2021.
But this migration pattern, combined with Japan’s rapidly aging population, has left rural cities with constant migration and smaller populations, as well as millions of unoccupied homes.
Tokyo ranked fifth in the world in 2022 among the most expensive cities to live in globally.
The migration of young people from the countryside to crowded cities has become a major factor in the largest demographic crisis in Japan, according to experts, as the country has long suffered from low birth rates and long life expectancy, and has seen the number of deaths exceed the birth rate in recent years.
Experts point to several factors, most notably: the high cost of living and limited space, as well as the lack of childcare support in cities, which makes it difficult to raise children, which means that fewer couples have children.
Urban couples are often far from extended families who can help provide support.
With the current migration patterns, some cities are deserted, with no children or even young people living in them.
In the village of Nagoro, located on the banks of a river in southern Japan, there were fewer than 30 people residing there in 2019, the youngest of whom was over the age of fifty, and the only school in the village closed a few years ago after the last of its students graduated.
To combat these issues, the authorities launched an initiative in 2019 to attract residents to the provinces.
Under this plan, individuals who have lived and worked in the Tokyo metropolitan area for at least 5 years can get 600,000 yen (about $4,500) if they move to rural areas, but this incentive is higher for married couples, as it amounts to 1 million yen ($7,700) for each child. .
Last year, the government allowed childless parents or couples with children to receive 300,000 yen (about $2,300) per child if they moved.
The government spokesperson said those who relocate could work in that area, set up their own businesses, or continue to work remotely at their jobs in Tokyo.
“Tokyo has a very high concentration of people, and the government wants to increase the flow of people into the regions to revitalize depopulated areas,” he added.
There is some evidence that the program is gaining momentum, although numbers remain low. In the first year of launch, only 71 families participated, compared to 1,184 families in 2021.