Japan incentivises migration out of Tokyo without staff changing jobs

The government is encouraging workers to relocate to less-populated areas of the country while still employed by businesses based in Tokyo.
By: | May 5, 2021

This is to decrease the population density in the capital city and the surrounding areas in a bid to control the spread of COVID-19, as well as to take full advantage of the rise of teleworking amid the pandemic. 

Hiroya Masuda, president and CEO of Japan Post Holdings, who heads an advisory panel to the government, said teleworking will help people move to other parts of the country.  

In April, the panel proposed policies to encourage teleworking in regional areas, but said “the need to change jobs has been the greatest bottleneck in promoting migration to the countryside”. 

This observation was reflected in a Cabinet Office survey conducted in December, which showed that out of the 46% of respondents who were interested to move to regional areas, jobs and income were cited as major concerns. 

Nevertheless, data from the internal affairs ministry saw a net population outflow from Tokyo for the eighth straight month in February. 

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To further promote this reverse migration, the government has budgeted 10 billion yen (US$91.5 million) for municipalities to help businesses establish satellite offices in regional areas, and plans to set up a one-stop online portal for municipalities, companies and people pertaining to relocation. 

It is also planning for an award system for companies which promote teleworking in fiscal 2021, which ends in March next year, according to Jiji Press.