The Japan government is set to offer families one million yen a child to leave the capital Tokyo to combat depopulation of the country’s rural areas, a report said. Under the scheme, a family with three children will get three million yen to leave Tokyo.
The government is aiming to shift 10,000 people out of Tokyo to rural areas by 2027, the Guardian reported. In 2021, the government supported 1,184 families, while it was 290 in 2020. The amount offered was 300,000 yen in previous years. The new scheme will come into effect from April.
Besides the one million yen compensation, families living in the central Tokyo metropolitan area for over five years will also get support funds for children. Additional support would also be provided if the families want to start a business in the local area, the report said.
Although Tokyo’s population fell for the first time last year, policymakers in Japan believe more should be done to lower the city’s population density and encourage people to start new lives in “unfashionable” parts of the country that have been hit by ageing, shrinking populations and the migration of younger people to Tokyo, Osaka and other big cities.
Apart from money, the government is also highlighting other benefits such as the availability of “eligible men” in Otari village and easy access to childcare.
In 2021, the number of births totalled 8,11,604, the lowest since records were first kept in 1899. By contrast, the number of centenarians stands at more than 90,500 – compared with only 153 in 1963.