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Japan is paying families 1 million yen (P422k) per child to leave overcrowded Tokyo

By AYIE LICSI Published Jan 05, 2023 2:36 pm

Japan is offering to pay families to move out of Tokyo to fix its overcrowding problem in the capital and reverse the population decline in its other regions.

Starting in April, those who will relocate will get 1 million yen (P422,000) per child under the age of 18 or dependents 18 and over that are still attending high school from the government.

Tokyo is one of the country's most populated areas, with 37.2 million people living in the busy region despite it being the fifth most expensive city to live in, as per ECA International. For the first time in more than a quarter of a century, the capital's population fell in 2021, with a net loss of 48,592 from 2020.

Meanwhile, more than half of Japan's municipalities, excluding Tokyo's 23 "core" wards, were expected to be designated as underpopulated, according to a national census.

This incentive to move comes as authorities attempt to disperse dense populations in metropolitan areas and improve declining birth rates in the more rural areas.

Japan has previously launched initiatives to encourage people to move to the regional areas, previously offering 300,000 yen (P127,000) per child for families to relocate. The government is also planning to provide an additional 80,000 yen (P34,000) to couples for having children to improve its birth rates.

While it sounds like an easy payday, relocating families must live in their new homes for at least five years and one member of the family must be working there. Those who move out short of the required time will be asked to return the money.

Additionally, their children must be under the age of 18 or if the child is 18, they must still be in high school.

According to a release from Kyodo News, couples with two children who start a business in their new area of residence can earn up to 5 million yen (P2.1 million) in financial support.