By: Sam Hoey | CRP, GMS

October 5, 2021

Japanese government is offering workers perks to relocate to less-populated areas

Tokyo, always known for being one of the most populated cities in the world, is starting to get just a little too crowded. The dynamic lifestyle of this great city is what brings many people to it in the first place. Many relocate to Tokyo for school but then remain for job opportunities. With so many people living in Japan’s capital now, it is estimated that 30% of the country’s entire population is concentrated in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area. This resulted after 25 years of year-over-year hikes in the population numbers. The number of inbound migrants in 2020 was about 38,000, a significant decrease from about 87,000 in 2019 (down about 56%), but still of significant volume.

This centralization of the Japanese population in Tokyo has been identified as a significant national risk. The potential (and realized) damages to the country and the economy that can be caused by disasters such as infectious diseases and earthquakes occurring in such a densely populated area have highlighted the need for a change in thinking. The mitigation of the impact of such disasters occurring in Tokyo can be helped by working towards the building of a decentralized society.

Additional benefits of this new direction can create a positive impact on the people that live in Japan. While there is much to do in Tokyo, like all major cities, there are a few drawbacks. The crowds in this big city atmosphere can make life harder, especially in a pandemic setting like most of the world as seen in the past two years. Additionally, the cost of living is not cheap. Living in the greater Tokyo area can be extremely expensive compared to more rural countryside areas of Japan. In fact, Tokyo is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world.

So, what is Japan doing to promote citizens to consider moving to more rural and less crowded parts of the country? The government is offering relocation incentives to those who are able to work remotely from their new home. This big urge to relocate people to less crowded areas can be financially beneficial for those willing to do so.

Financial Support Relocation Incentives

Hoping to revitalize the rural parts of Japan, the government is offering individuals grants of up to 1 million yen (about $9,000 USD) to move out of Tokyo, while working remotely of course. Remote work is an important aspect of this program, removing the need to commute in and out of Tokyo for work. It has been reported that the government is committed to shelling out more than $10 billion yen in grants for this program. 

On top of the grants, local governments are also offering programs to attract new residents to their cities and towns. Many municipalities are providing ongoing support to help new residents find employment. Some of these programs are even geared toward helping entrepreneurs establish a new business in a local storefront. There are also some relocation programs that are helping movers either purchase or rent a home in their new area.

Experience Relocation Support Through GMS

Japan is one of many countries right now offering government relocation incentives. Contact GMS today with any questions regarding your relocation program, policies, or needs. Our qualified team has been helping people relocate all over the world since 1987. We will listen to your needs, examine your relocation program, and provide expert feedback on how to develop a competitive program based on industry best practices.

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Senior Vice President, Global Account Management Sam joined Global Mobility Solutions in 1996 and has a unique perspective with her 25 years of industry experience. Samantha offers her clients relocation expertise and a commitment to excellence in her. Her proficiency in orchestrating the BVO and GPO Programs, as well as relocation policy design and implementation, are invaluable assets to the accounts she manages. Her experience in administering Pre-Decision Relocation services to enhance the recruiting process further demonstrates her unique abilities to service her clients. Samantha’s diverse experience, leadership, and outstanding communication skills enable her to manage the relocation process for her clients with finesse and polished professionalism.

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