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The Japanese government is offering families 1 million yen to relocate from Tokyo in an effort to revitalize towns across the country. Do you think this is a good idea?

36 Comments
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So much money has been wasted trying to maintain rural areas as viable places to live. Since swathes of the countryside have now reached a critical mass of decay and are often beyond redemption without even bigger expenditure it might be better to change focus and pay to relocate country dwellers to the cities and rewild such areas with native forest, instead of plantation, and strip back the concrete along rivers and coastlines, wherever possible. Then maybe some people might even be attracted to such areas.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

aside from the money, they should really help the families in all bases such as assisting them in finding a home and helping them connect with other families who have also relocated.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Move out give money, pop a child give money. Funny how these policies don't address the risks and challenges that happen after that one-time event. No wonder they don't work.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

1m JPY is a step in the right direction, but depending on the number of children, will be spent quickly with relocation expenses and key deposits.

The limiting factor continues to be employment in rural areas which has not been addressed. So if the government really wants to people to relocate outside of Tokyo they need policies that continue to push companies to support remote work and cover long distance commuting expenses. As well as tax incentives for new startups and offices in rural areas.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Jobs. People move to other places for jobs. A million yen is easily spent on finding a place to live and moving expenses. If they move to an isolated area with no jobs, they'll be back in Tokyo within a year. If they move to an isolated area with no schools, they'll be back in Tokyo when junior starts kindergarten (maybe three years).

People need jobs and other infrastructure like schools, hospitals, and, did I mention, jobs?

Maybe the gov't should take a hint from Italy which offers cheap housing costs if renovation starts within a year and the new residents From Any Country start a business (and not necessarily an IT business).

12 ( +12 / -0 )

As well as tax incentives for new startups and offices in rural areas.

Agree.

I do wonder how many urban folks wanna get out but the risk of easily finding stable income just deflates the dream.

Maybe showing all the seasons of Little House on the Prairie on NHK might help.

invalid CSRF

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Have any of these bureaucrats ever lived in the Japanese countryside?

I'm from a rural area in the U.K,but living outside towns and cities here is much more tedious,narrow-minded, intrusive and fusty.

Even with a young family,give me urban bustle every time.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Not a bad idea, but giving companies tax breaks to encourage them to move to the country would accomplish the same.

There are empty schools and other empty government-owned buildings throughout the countryside that would be perfect for IT or service-related companies.

Free rent for the first year or two might be enough incentive for a company to relocate from Tokyo to Ibaraki, Fukushima, or Tochigi.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Not nearly enough considering the complete lack of career prospects and the massive reduction in expected income.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It will require a lot more than a million yen ($7500) to get people to move out of Tokyo. These people will need to find meaningful jobs, suitable housing, and a school(s) if they have kids. That money will be gone in no time.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A million yen is a tidy sum. How about a billion? A trillion would be nice.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The ¥1M sounds appealling to many but will soon be soaked up with moving expenses and and no support when they arrive in the back of buggery. The only way to encourage people to move to the countryside is to give them a reason to do so. They need infrastucture and jobs not a one-off cash payment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Compared with improving the infrastructure of the destination and promoting jobs there (or teleworking that would be practical while living in those towns)? no.

It is an easy idea, but not likely to be effective. one million yen may be a push for some families that are considering already doing it, but it feels a really small sum for families to change their residency with all the costs that it has.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I voted yes as I am a strong supporter of rural revival. However, 1 million yen may not be enough to incentivize people to move out of Tokyo.

Giving them a huge Akiya with lots of land for children to play in at may help. Also providing infrastructure such as train stations, schools, hospitals, and children's facilities would help. Pushing for more work from home would be a HUGE incentive to get people to move out to the countryside. Also free access to driving school for those without a driver's license would be very good. Lower property and municipal taxes for those in the rural areas.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think it's a good thing. Mobility is difficult due to costs, having a buffer can make the transition much easier.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

When the Japanese government

begins to decentralize then I’ll start to believe that there might be some real intent to change the status quo.

A million yen is not showing real intent.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Is it a good idea? Maybe. I honestly don't know.

Will it work? Definitely not. People go to where there are jobs.

Nothing much to do in cities like Akita, even less in towns like Ani in Akita prefecture where you have to drive for a while to find a supermarket.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

For those who, for whatever reason, have already decided to move there: yes, it's a bonus to them.

Is this an incentive to move to anybody else: no, absolutely not.

So you don't think it would be an incentive to those who want to go, but are too worried about the associated financial costs of moving?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They'll need to encourage the businesses employing those people to move too. Nobody will move if they've got an unreasonable commute to work.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It’s a bad idea just because a million yen is a drop in the bucket for a family. Basically only applies to the severely desperate, 100% remote work allowed crowd (which doesn’t seem to exist in Japan) or those stupid enough to think a single payout of a third the average 30 year old salary is enough incentive to do it.

like others said, I think most tokyoites would be fine with moving outside the city. But there are so few of the major companies operating out there. The Tokyo brain drain is real and almost expected that you’ll move there after college or high school because what else can you possibly do?

start there jgov, incentivize companies to branch out and maybe these low salaries can make sense

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Moving either to the country or moving to the city offers advantages and disadvantages. In the end it is a matter circumstances and how you feel about things. There are no super fast times in the countryside. You may find that some credit cards don't work. You likely end up buying train tickets with real money instead of debit cards, Taxis will likely prefer cash. If you are a gaijin you'll be gawked at some point. All will depend on your job and the people you fall in with.

I lived in Inaka for a number of years. The thing I loved most were the spring flowers. It seemed that every few days there would be a whole new rash of flowers. I liked the quite nights and the darkness. There were a lot of historical landmarks in my area. We also became close friends with quite a few people--friendships seemed easier to find than in city life (though, mind, we had and have lots of city friends.

What we missed was fast trains, certain consumers goods and cultural events.

Going into the countryside is great or it can be not so great, depending on a long of things.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It seems to me quite an odd policy, as a lot of construction and renovation projects are currently underway for new offices and residential buildings in Tokyo's downtown areas in an effort to house more people and businesses coming from outside. It'd sound more plausible if incentives for relocation are to be given from places of new settlement. The programme of Tokyo is like a kick-out goodby money :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I said no because it is not an answer that helps. ¥1 Million wouldn't cover moving costs, it wouldn't cover refitting whatever house or living they find if it's an old place, and most importantly, you can't restart an economy without having the business infrastructure there first. You keep the businesses and jobs in Tokyo and other big cities and despite saying they can telework, at some point they'll have to commute. ¥1M won't cover anything. For people already going, though, it's a nice bonus.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have never lived in Kanto and I will not but here is my story and opinion on this topic. My wife who is from Aomori and we live in Ishikawa on Noto Peninsula we lived here for many years and would never consider or even think about moving away to a larger populated area. In Japan I have lived in both Nagoya and Kyoto. I moved to Ishikawa from Kyoto in 2016 and it was the best move I have ever made but I was ready.

I always felt for myself the city was a place to have fun and enjoy a good time for a few days but I never liked living there and never felt the larger populated areas were for me. The level of Inaka I live in is far greater than most would try to venture in. My wife came from a place just like where I live in Ishikawa so she was happy to live in a similar environment. We have established lives here and a life people from larger populated areas are not really used to especially in Japan.

How to move to the country side:

There are many ways you can do this, I will not get into the specifics like 移住 いじゅう Ijuu, but you need to be mentally ready first. You need a solid plan rather than have money waved at you. This is why I think this is a bad idea. This plan you make takes time because it needs to create a solid foundation. In this plan you have to be prepared to fail and have the attitude that failure is your friend and a learning experience and have a back up. This takes trial and error which most people have a difficulty in doing. If you can endure and not give up its well worth it. Living in the country side can be very holistic especially if you do any form of holistic work like working in the Vedic sciences, yoga, mediation, and natural cures.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So glad I live in Miyazaki Ken Nobeoka Shi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Might be better to create new cities, where small towns with depopulation could be encouraged to gradually move to, with business support, and where the new cities can support the disappearing villages and towns, but is within a commute. Maybe tax incentives, health incentives, and educational incentives would be better than giving someone specific cash, which is just a one time payment. Or you could increase the Tokyo tax to make it harder. Elite universities could be encouraged to set up new campuses that would bring in Young people, who may stay, and contribute to the new cities/towns.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No.

Its a waste, most of the people who get the money are likely ones who were going to move anyway. And few people in Tokyo would find 1 million Yen to be enough incentive by itself to leave.

Also if this money simply requires them to leave Tokyo, then what percentage of takers are going to simply move to another major city like Osaka or Nagoya and simply start contributing to overcrowding in those cities?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The "answer" seems to always be to throw money at something and hope that solves the problem. People suffering from malnutrition don't just need food they need to regularly eat nutritious things. Saying "Here's a million yen. Relocate to the countryside," solves nothing and wouldn't be any kind of lure for anyone I know. A million yen is not really a lot of money and people need to think of how they'll be able to go about their lives like before. I wouldn't even think about moving to the suburbs, much less the countryside for that paltry amount of money. What do I do about work? How do I get to a job? What about the kids' schooling and shopping for example? Sounds like a seriously underplanned endeavor by the government as usual.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think its a good idea. However, I think offering just one million can work little for facilitating relocation. For singles, it costs hundreds of thousands of yen to move to a new place. For families, the relocation costs can get higher, so the government need to cover more of the cost for relocation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about relocating jobs out where people would move to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All the comments here are jumping to the conclusion that people are being encouraged to move to remote rural areas. The term being used is 東京圏外, which just means "outside the Tokyo area". This includes urban areas with six- or seven-digit populations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To be clear, the programme explicitly defines 東京圏外 as outside Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1,000,000 Y is currently about 7,818 $ US. Will it be enough of a subsidy, to support a family once they relocate to a new location? Perhaps government should spend money on providing those areas for which they wish to increase population, with new infrastructure (e.g. stores, schools, housing, museums, . .. ) in order to increase interest for people to move . . . .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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