Japan Offering Families Hefty Sum to Leave Tokyo

New incentive is announced
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2023 2:01 PM CST
Japan Offering Families Hefty Sum to Leave Tokyo
People shop in Tokyo on Friday.   (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

Japan wants to push some of its population out of Tokyo and into other parts of the country, and it's using money as a carrot. The Guardian reports the government is making a dramatic increase to its relocation fee, which had been 300,000 yen (about $2,250) per child but will in April jump to 1 million yen, or about $7,600. Kyodo reports the relocation fee is available to people living in Tokyo's 23 core wards, as well as what CNBC describes as adjacent "commuter hot spots." To keep the incentive, they'll need to remain in their new municipality for five years, and at least one adult will need to work.

The intention is twofold: to decrease the city's population density—it's home to 37 million people, reports CNN Business—and to reinvigorate towns and villages that are saddled with an aging and shrinking population. The Guardian notes Tokyo's population decreased last year for the first time, though COVID was one of the causes of that. The new incentive comes on top of the up to 3 million yen, or nearly $23,000, exiting families can qualify for if they meet certain criteria around employment in their new area. In 2021, 2,381 people received a relocation payment. Prior to COVID, the city's population grew by as many as 80,000 people annually. (More Tokyo stories.)

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