The support for children comes on top of a flat 1 million Yen that families can already get.
Japan is going to pay families 1 million Yen per child to move out of Tokyo this year to combat the rapid depopulation in the country's rural areas, according to reports. Under this new proposal, a household with two children could receive 3 million Yen in support if they leave the Tokyo area.
The government hopes that 10,000 people will have moved from Tokyo to rural areas by 2027 under this scheme which began in 2019. Last year, the government supported 1,184 families, while 290 in 2020 and 71 in 2019.
The support for children comes on top of a flat 1 million Yen that families can already get for moving, Time magazine reported. Those eligible to apply for the support funds are households who have lived in the central Tokyo metropolitan area for five years.
The central government and local municipalities are splitting the cost of the funds. Additional support would also be provided if the families want to start a business in the local area.
However, claiming the 1 million Yen to move to an idyllic rural town isn't as easy as it sounds. Families hoping to avail of the support must live in their new homes for at least five years and one member of the household must be in work or plan to open a new business. Those who move out before five years have passed will have to return the cash.
In an attempt to draw crowds, the benefits of Japan's towns and villages are being constantly highlighted. Among them is the availability of "eligibile men", as in the case of Otari village, and easy access to childcare.
With more young people moving away for opportunities in cities, Japan's rural areas have seen rapid depopulation in recent years. Officials hope that the enticing amount will encourage families to revitalise these regions and ease pressure on space and public services in greater Tokyo, The Guardian reported.
This is the latest attempt to reinvigorate the regions amid yet another drop in Japan's population, and birthrate. In 2021, the number of births totalled 811,604, the lowest since records were first kept in 1899.