Tokyo Tower is seen in the background in Minato Ward in Tokyo. Photo: AP file

Net population influx into Tokyo accelerates for 1st time in 3 years


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More people, more problems

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I have noticed more people here recently.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Another issue that has been a predictable and ongoing problem for decades. There were vague plans to do something about excessive centralisation back in the 1970s.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I was lucky to start out my life in Japan in a small capital of half a million people, with everything the bigger places have to offer but in a smaller scale.

Everything was free, big parking spaces in every store, stress-free in the roads/sidewalks, people were nice, random women in their 30s/40s chatting you up at the supermarket to make foreign "friends" and so many things you will never have in Tokyo.

What I miss the most is how easy you got to make friends from all over the world and be part of the community, everyone was united, phone wouldnt stop ringing every month with someone inviting you to a big home party, barbecue, skiing, fishing, mountain climbing somewhere with 10, 30 other foreigners, everyone had their busy lives but it was as if everyone was part of the same school class or something. With minimum effort, you could always be surrounded by nice people from all over the world and have a good time. Saturday night and you could choose to go out and end up in this big russian mansion to watch movies with other foreigners or having a relaxing weekend @ home with one of the countless japanese in your list.

In Tokyo its really hard to make friends like this, everyone is coming and going.

And regarding the japanese, I think its just another species in comparison with other prefectures far away from Tokyo.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

The trend comes despite the central government's aim to balance the inflow and outflow of the population in the Tokyo area by fiscal 2027.

There is one simple to say, but hard to put into practice, way to stop this, is to increase the wages of people outside of Tokyo. Not just a temporary solution, but a long term one, that would help to decrease the impact on Tokyo, and increase the tax base of those areas that are hurting.

It's a no brainer that people move to Tokyo, that's where the jobs that pay at the minimum, a living wage!

The government needs to put more effort into revitalizing these depressed areas and create economic hubs throughout the country to make it worthwhile to leave Tokyo.

The gimmicky offers of one time payments to move, are just temporary and short sighted!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The trend comes despite the central government's aim to balance the inflow and outflow of the population in the Tokyo area by fiscal 2027.

As usual, they can aim high, dream and just talk about it.

But that’s all it will ever be, just talk.

At least until they get an actual logical plan going.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tokyo increases and continues to strengthen, one of the best cities in the world to live..

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Natural move after the Covid downtrend as jobs are picking up again in Tokyo.


I was also making more friends 20 years ago while in the Tokyo area and single. It is certainly easier in smaller cities, no doubt as everyone is naturally more friendly. But by getting older, with families, the relationships are just changing and it is more difficult to make friends

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Guess not many people are moving their lives out of the city for the ¥80,000-¥100,000 the government is dangling in front of them to do so.

3 ( +4 / -1 )


Problem is you never know when someone is coming or going, you meet someone and a few months they might be gone, so things tend to be pretty shallow.

J-tv lures the whole young Japan into moving to Tokyo almost as if they were "missing out" something in their hometowns but the reality is (and this comes from someone who've lived in 5 different japanese capitals) there is nothing really special about Tokyo. Can't see anything really impressive I wouldnt get in Nagoya or Toyama.

The knee jerk reaction of Tokyo people when passing by or getting next to people (foreign or not) is to look down (or hide their faces with their hair in case of women) which is pretty weird.

There are other capitals where foreigners get their own omikoshi to join the big traditional parades, an army of a hundred foreigners marching the main avenues in yukatas is one of the "highlights" of summer festivals. Where in Tokyo or Osaka you can get something even similar?

I know a handful of foreigners who constantly brag about "how great Tokyo is" but they are totally clueless about the city they live in, most don't even know what I'm talking about when I mention things like Adachi-ku, Kameari, Hikarigaoka, or even Kinshicho. Just which Tokyo are they talking about?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think this influx is mainly due to the govt's plan to pay up to ¥1 million to individuals and ¥3 million for families to re-locate out of Tokyo.

Have to investigate - LOL.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Another issue that has been a predictable and ongoing problem for decades. There were vague plans to do something about excessive centralisation back in the 1970s."

I hear the expert panel they formed back then to discuss this issue is due to hold its last meeting and release recommendations as early as next year.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Of course people are moving into Tokyo - that's where all the opportunities are. As a young person entering the workforce, if you have skills, you get the pick of the litter when it comes to what kind of company you want to work for and what kind of work you want to do. And the money's better.

That is not the case outside of Tokyo. In some towns and smaller cities, you have like one or two companies that everybody has to work for if they want to stay there. And the reality is, that company may just never end up hiring you because you don't fit the bill for what they are looking for, or they are just turned off by you. Nor is there any pressure for them to increase your pay or promote you if you manage to get in, because they're the only game in town. Small town Japan is great if you like zero career growth and making peanuts.

While I don't live in Tokyo, I have enjoyed living just outside in Kanagawa. Transit is generally efficient and reliable. Also, I can't think of how miserable I'd have been had I had to live outside of Tokyo in 2021 especially during Covid. I was able to meet people and make friends around that time, because here, people started going out again and the venues could afford to break the rules a little.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

100 million people do not live in Tokyo.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Makes sense that covid reduced the number of people moving into the big city.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tokyo increases and continues to strengthen, one of the best cities in the world to live..

Trolly but true. I love Tokyo and the Kichijoji neck of the woods.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There is this article and the reality is that Tokyo has been losing inhabitants since 2019.

Contrary to general beliefs :

Can't fight demography projections outside mass immigration change, which will never happen rightfully.

Tokyo and large citied are special for its inhabitants' behaviour.

I prefer from far indeed less crowed places where relationships can be made.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yep so much for “work from home” being a thing in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In my experience, Japan is very good at collecting data that doesn't include everything, so the number here could be increasing, it could be flatlining, or it could be decreasing slightly. I would not trust any data that is marginally one side of 50% or zero to be conclusive proof of a trend being in one direction and not the other.

What is clear is that Tokyo's population is not in clear decline as it is in most parts of the country. The cost of living is higher in Tokyo, real estate in particular, but its still luring people in. Some of it is wealthy old folks leaving a house in a dying suburb or bed town to live in a zero-maintenance apartment in the city with all services nearby and no need to drive. So its not all young people, which would be the most concerning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

finally richToday  10:03 am JST

You could always make local friends (shock horror!)

Literally everything you said in your first post that you can't get or doesn't happen in Tokyo is exactly what happens in Tokyo and I've been here almost 20 years, now with kids of my own, actually having kids helped me make stronger, more permanent friendships. It is what you make it after all.....

Oh and I've done plenty of mikoshi and matsuris thanks with the locals, like normal people!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tokyo is a hellscape devoid of any redeeming features. It's like the rolling background in the old cartoons. Tsutaya..Cosmos..Joyfull..Aoki..Tsutaya..Cosmos..Joyf..... etc.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Tokyo is mostly a concrete jungle and after six months needed something more. What was nearly 30 years ago. Great place for shopping but now with the internet not so valuable. But we visit some times. Last family member is leaving for greener pastures up north.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Tokyo is surprising in its abundance of greenery, and quiet streets even throughout the workday.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

My two kids grew up in Kumamoto but moved to Tokyo immediately after their US college. Don't blame them - aside from tech, there isn't much here.

I do wonder how they will be able to raise children there, though. One great thing about provincial capitals is they are very family-friendly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

% of public green space (parks and gardens)

Tokyo   7.50%   2015   Bureau of Urban Development   Survey of City Planning Park and Green Space in Tokyo 2015

London   33.00%   2022   Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC 2022   Publicly accessible green space (not total green space)

New York   27.00%   2010   New York City Department of City Planning Land Use

Los Angeles   34.70%   2016   LA County Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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