Semafor LogoJenna Moon
newsEast Asia

Japan to pay residents to leave overcrowded Tokyo

Sign up for Semafor Flagship: A global, insightful daily briefing. Read it now.

Title iconThe News

The Japanese government is offering families living in densely populated Tokyo a financial incentive to relocate outside of the city in a move to tackle overcrowding, The Japan Times reports.

Shoppers crowd at the Ameyoko shopping district, which is Tokyo's biggest street food market, as they do their last-minute New Year's shopping in Tokyo, Japan December 29, 2022.
REUTERS/Issei Kato
Title iconKnow More

Families will receive up to 1 million yen ($7,500) per child if they move from any of the 23 wards that comprise metropolitan Tokyo, and select suburbs.

The relocation program previously offered 300,000 yen in compensation, but the government has stepped up incentives in an effort to increase uptake. To be eligible for reimbursement, families with children under 18 must reside in qualifying municipalities outside of Tokyo for five years.

Tokyo is home to some 14 million residents, representing about 11% of the Japanese population living in just 0.6% of its total land.

Title iconNotable
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of remote work might encourage more people to exchange life in bustling Tokyo for quieter, serene views. The Financial Times reports that 350 Japanese companies have already moved their offices out of Tokyo and into the countryside.