Japanese governors urge Tokyo audience to pull up stakes, move to countryside


“Why don’t you come and live in the countryside?”

That was the message from prefectural governors at an event in Tokyo on Sunday as part of their efforts to revitalize life outside Japan’s metropolises.

They urged young people in particular to move to their prefectures, underscoring that the space and pace in smaller cities and towns are those that allow residents to live fulfilling lives.

The governors are members of a league of 12 administrators supporting younger generations for the nation’s revitalization.

Of the participants, the governors of nine prefectures — Fukushima, Nagano, Shiga, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Tokushima, Kochi and Miyazaki — introduced attendees to measures they are offering to attract newcomers.

The event took place at the Sunshine City commercial complex in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward.

Nagano Gov. Shuichi Abe talked about his prefecture’s support for families with young children, including the “Mori no Yochien” (Forest Kindergarten) preschool education program, which utilizes the mountainous prefecture’s rich natural environment.

Kochi Gov. Masanao Ozaki stressed, “We have a women-friendly work environment,” noting that Kochi ranks top among Japan’s 47 prefectures in the proportion of women in managerial posts.

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori said moving to his prefecture may give you direction in your life and will certaily benefit the community.

“If you come to live with us in Fukushima and work there, that will facilitate its postdisaster reconstruction and help you lead a meaningful life,” he said.

Fukushima is one of the three northeastern prefectures hit hardest by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

  • Roy Warner

    Attendance figures?

  • Liars N. Fools

    I like Kochi. It is huge. Lots of young people leaving. Even Sakamoto Ryoma left and did not go back. Read the Tosa Diary. Pretty prefecture. Visit don’t reside.

  • Stewart Dorward

    You don’t have to go far out of the big cities to have a rural lifestyle – I moved to and bought a house in rural Saitama (6 LDK for 15 million) and can still commute in – explore lines like the Seibu Ikebukuro line if you are looking for a quiet place to live but still want or need access to central Tokyo.

  • Antioch18

    Lack of jobs (esp. “good” ones) is the biggest reason not to go. What’s the plan for that?