national

Gov't considers paying people ¥3 million to move out of Tokyo

31 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

While it’s common knowledge that Japan has a low birth rate, you’d never guess it from walking around Tokyo. The city’s downtown neighborhoods can feel positively packed with people, and it’s getting more crowded every year, as Tokyo’s population continues to grow.

All those new Tokyoites weren’t born in the city, though. More people have moved to Tokyo than away from the capital for each of the past 22 years, and it’s not hard to see why. Tokyo offers, by far, Japan’s greatest variety of educational and professional opportunities, so it’s not at all unusual for people who grew up elsewhere to come to the city for college or trade school, then stick around after finding a job locally.

However, this has resulted in a population drain on other parts of Japan, who see their best and brightest moving out of the region, never to return. In recent years, the Japanese government has been looking into ways to revitalize the country’s fading small-to-mid-sized regional communities, and now it’s proposing what might be its most bluntly direct tactic yet: bribing people to move out of Tokyo.

Last week, the government said that it’s considering establishing a system to provide financial grants to people currently living in Tokyo’s 23 central wards (the most populated parts of the city) who move away to start new jobs or set up new companies. They’re not talking pocket change, either, as the early proposal would give you up to three million yen to get out of town.

The payment is intended to cover the costs of moving and setting up a new home outside of the capital, and with three million yen being not far off from the annual salary of many entry-level white-collar jobs in Japan, it’s essentially a year’s advance on your paycheck. The proposal doesn’t specify how far away from Tokyo’s 23 wards you have to move to be eligible for the grant, so it’s possible that people relocating to the outer edges of Tokyo that lie beyond the 23 wards could also be eligible.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has expressed some doubts about the initiative. “It will be necessary to monitor how much of an effect payments of three million yen have,” she said at a press conference following the news of the potential grant system. “It might be wiser for the government to focus on spreading the word about the unique characteristics and strengths of other regions, and otherwise working on ways to make them desirable places to live.”

Koike has a point, since while a one-time payment will help grease the wheels of those thinking about the road out of Tokyo, it doesn’t do much to help set up any one alternative town as particularly attractive. To that end, the government is also mulling over a new set of grants and tax incentives for designated cities, with even relatively large regional urban centers like Sendai and Sapporo potentially on the list. Exact details are still being hammered out, but the “get out of Tokyo” payment system could be in place as early as next year.

Source: NHK News Web via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Shimane Prefecture will give you a house…but only if you promise to stay for 25 years!

-- Tokyo considering removing overhead power lines in run-up to 2020 Olympics

-- One in four young people in Japan’s biggest cities thinking of moving to the countryside【Survey】

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
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Last week, the federal government said that it’s considering establishing a system to provide financial grants to people currently living in Tokyo’s 23 central wards (the most populated parts of the city) who move away to start new jobs or set up new companies. They’re not talking pocket change, either, as the early proposal would give you up to three million yen to get out of town.

Move, find a new job, or start a new company, with a 3 million yen stipend? You have got to be kidding! That's a request for disaster. You will end up with all sorts of people worse off than before! Who is going to hire them? When there are few decent opportunities with any decent salaries OUTSIDE of Tokyo right now?

Move the companies out and the people will follow!

The payment is intended to cover the costs of moving and setting up a new home outside of the capital, and with three million yen being not far off from the annual salary of many entry-level white-collar jobs in Japan, it’s essentially a year’s advance on your paycheck. The proposal doesn’t specify how far away from Tokyo’s 23 wards you have to move to be eligible for the grant, so it’s possible that people relocating to the outer edges of Tokyo that lie beyond the 23 wards could also be eligible.

Once again, Tokyo-centric! For once I would love to see a writer here do a little homework and get their facts straight!

https://japantoday.com/category/national/gov't-considers-paying-people-%C2%A53-million-to-move-out-of-tokyo

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Move the companies out and the people will follow!

This and only this would lead to change. Meanwhile, concentration in Tokyo continues apace. If there were enough jobs in Shinshu or Hokkaido or Chugoku people would gladly stay/return. This takes national vision and leadership and better coordination/incentives between Tokyo and the targeted prefectures or regions.

Raining yen down on people is a joke.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

How comes up with these bizarre ideas? Japan's top university graduates that's who. By the way these brainiacs have no intention of moving themselves. Just float the idea generate a ream of complicated forms nobody could adequately fill, and they have done there job.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan? Federal government?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I'd move just outside the limit, which there is none yet, keep my old job and just have a longer commute. I would deal with it for 3 million yen.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What's to stop people from taking the money and then not moving? Or moving and then moving back? Is the gov going to monitor each and every recipient of the GTFO money for years?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Oh good! They found something useless to do with my Tax Money!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I'd rather do some menial job for a fraction of the money and have some kind of life quality then live in Tokyo or any other large city for that money. I'll do that for free :)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This is just hot air. I’m sure there will be very few that qualify to get a 30 grand payment. I also see it being very easily abused as well. If someone was to get the cash, move out of Tokyo for a year or so and then move back, would they have to pay neck the grant? It all seems a little farcical to me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

3 million yen for all those people.

If they've got that much money to waste then give companies tax subsidies and economic incentives to relocate or put branches outside of Tokyo.

People go where the jobs are. All money comes into Tokyo.

The problem is the govt. hasn't done anything to stem the flow of jobs out of the provinces/countrysides. It's straightforward economics and sense.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Move the companies out and the people will follow!"

I wholeheartedly agree.

I'm scheduled to be in Tokyo during the end of December. Give me 10,000,000 yen and I will go to Nara instead.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They aren't thinking past the Olympics. Its got them crazy !

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This will just lead to people putting down payments on places in Musashi-Kosugi or Funabashi - and more crowded commuter trains.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The world points and laughs.

People live where the work is. It ain't rocket science.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Move the seat of government out of Tokyo.

Please.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Why don't they move their political base to another place?

For both population of Tokyo and any possible disaster.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Actually moving the government hub to a country side area would - one get them out of Ginza and two -take all their lackeys with them. Another progressive idea would be banning offspring from being elected for at least a generation. Let's see how these dead fish manage when made to flop around eating cup noodles.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I live in inaka and it is already possible in certain towns to get taxpayer money to renovate an old house. You can get other support, and any babies you have will get a place in baby daycare, heavily oversubscribed in the city, for a trivial amount of money compared to the actual cost, even if you just work a few hours in Lawsons or cleaning an onsen hotel.

So the government is already effectively paying young people loads to come or stay in inaka. Giving them it in cash doesn't make much difference.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

i pray this idiotic plan never comes to fruition.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They'd do better to pay 3 million people to leave Tokyo...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

kohakuebisu is correct - there are also lots of empty houses on govt databases that can be had for the payment of back taxes, which can be spread over time, if you contract to live in the house for a specified period. You could repair them during the mandatory period, pay off the lien, and have a salable property/besso after several years. Avoid purchasing distressed apartments and condo's though - the buildings' owners will try to extract kanrihi for every month the place stood empty from the new owner.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing much to do outside of Tokyo, Omiya to Yokohama area, and other bigger cities like Osaka and Kyoto.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Nothing much to do outside of Tokyo, Omiya to Yokohama area, and other bigger cities like Osaka and Kyoto.

Rubbish. You couldn't pay me to live in a big city.

Concrete, asphalt, noise, bad air, crowds, high prices, no thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So.. bankrupt Tokyo before the olympics for inaka mono folks?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually moving the government hub to a country side area would - one get them out of Ginza and two -take all their lackeys with them.

Government offices are mostly in Nagatacho and Kasumigaseki. Ginza hostess bars are generally far too expensive for government bureaucrats.

I agree that this 3 million yen subsidy is a silly idea. Better to accept concentration and get on with life. The UK government has for decades been trying to reduce concentration in London but London just keeps growing. The same pattern can be seen in a number of other countries.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What if I move to a tiny cheap one room apartment in the countryside without quiting my Tokyo apartment, get my 3 million yen, and then quit my country apartment and return to my apartment in Tokyo? You think nobody is going to do that?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm glad I live in Kumamoto. We're perfectly balanced - enough high-tech and engineering jobs to bring in the bucks and retain the kids, but still small enough to feel like a town. (That said, my son works in Tokyo now.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ozziedesigner

I'd rather do some menial job for a fraction of the money and have some kind of life quality then live in Tokyo or any other large city for that money. I'll do that for free :)

Yeah, but your Aussie i take it? :p and are therefore probably use to and enjoy the wide open spaces. I definitely fit that bill despite living smack bang in the middle of Melbourne for years and spending time in Asian cities.

I see another opportunity for collaboration and idea sharing here between Japan and Aus because we both have the same problem. Migration from country to city.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Move the capital out of Tokyo and problem solved.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Have the large corporate HQ move out of Tokyo Central will have a much better effect. Look at Nissan and Fuji Xerox HQ is located in Yokohama. Other corporation should follow suit.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is a good example in 2004 Japanese movie Shinkokyu no Hitsuyo (Breathe In, Breathe Out)

People (esp from hectic Tokyo life) are adventured into countryside and work there and feel clear blue sky and sea. Amazing movie, Amazing experience.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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