Japanese government will offer 1M yen per child for families to move out of Tokyo

Japan is experiencing a rapid decline in population. From 2020 to 2021, the population decreased by 644,000. The current population of 125 million is expected to drop to 88 million in 2065. Because rural regions of Japan are the hardest hit, the Japanese government is offering families a $7,500 bounty per child for families willing to move out of Tokyo. This is in addition to other cash incentives already in place that could boost the maximum payout to 5 million yen ($38,000) per family.

Here are more highlights from the article in The Guardian:

  • The payment, in addition to up to 3 yen million in financial support, will be offered to families living in the core wards of Tokyo and surrounding areas
  • To qualify for the payment, families must meet one of three criteria: employment at a small or mid-sized company in the area they move to, continuing in their old jobs through remote work, or starting a business in their new home
  • The scheme aims to attract 10,000 people to move from Tokyo to rural areas by 2027

The last item strikes me as weird. Tokyo is the most populous city in the world, with 35 million people living in the greater metropolitan area. Is 10,000 going to make a noticeable difference? And will those ten thousand people make a difference to the rest of the country when they get spread out? Maybe the idea is to kickstart a mass exodus out of Tokyo after people who have left tell their friends how great it is in Nagano prefecture.