Leave Tokyo to get million yen per child: Japan’s lucrative offer to families comes with conditions

Image used for representational purpose. AP

Tokyo: In a bid to depopulate the metropolitan city of Tokyo, the Japanese government will offer one million yen per child to families who move out of greater Tokyo.

The new rule will be applied in April this year and is an increase from the previous 300,000 yen financial incentive of 2019.

According to the Government of Japan’s official website, authorities are doing the best they can to improve the country’s economy by “creating a flow of people from urban to rural areas, increasing income in rural areas, and conducting regional revitalization, through such measures as reforms to tourism and agricultural industries.”

Policymakers believe that people should move to the “unfashionable” parts of the country that have been hit by ageing, shrinking population and the migration of younger people to the cities in search of better opportunities.

What are the criteria set by the government?

The whopping sum of one million yen will be offered to only those families who reside in the 23 wards of Tokyo as well as those who commute from these wards to surrounding areas like Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures for work.

Under the scheme, however, families may lose the money if they plan to return back to the capital within five years. The scheme stipulates that people must live in their new homes for at least five and one member of the household must be at work or plant to open a new business in the new location.

The support offered to children will be provided if a child is under the age of 18 or if a child is 18 but in the final year of high school.

According to Kyodo News, an amount of up to five million will be offered to a couple with two children under 18 to move and start a business in their new areas of residence.

In order to attract new residents, Japanese towns and villages have highlighted the charms of rural life and easy access to childcare.

Families can also continue to work remotely at their current jobs, get employment at local small and medium-sized businesses or start a business altogether.

Japan’s population drop

For over two years, from 2020 to 2021, the country suffered a massive population drop, according to official data released by the government. It is expected to plunge even further from its current 125 million to an estimated 88 million in 2065.

According to The Guardian, the birth rate in the Asian country remains severely low with just 811,604 births recorded in 2021, the lowest since 1899. In contrast to this figure, the number of centenarians stands at more than 90,500 – compared with only 153 in 1963.

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