Aug 11, 2014

Nearly 40% of rural residents say their communities face decline

A Cabinet Office opinion survey has revealed that 37.6 percent of people living in rural areas of the country expect their communities will decline. Of 700 respondents living in farming or fishing villages, only 13.6 percent said they believe their areas will be revitalized, ...

Aug 2, 2014

Japan to reduce unsafe abandoned houses by cutting tax breaks

The government will review fixed property tax breaks for housing land to reduce abandoned houses that are rapidly increasing in number across the country due to the shrinking population, informed sources said. Decaying houses will be disqualified from the tax incentives once they are ...

Jul 25, 2014

Japan can hike female workforce by 1 million

Japan can increase its female workforce by about 1 million if it takes steps to improve the working environment for women who are raising children, the government said Friday in its annual economic and fiscal white paper. The white paper, submitted to the day’s ...

A life of lettuce has its benefits

| Jun 28, 2014

A life of lettuce has its benefits

by Michael Hoffman

Lettuce. Let us raise a glass to lettuce. There’s a village in Nagano Prefecture called Kawakami — nothing, nowhere little place, deep in the mountains, far from the main road, population 3,960. Why does Shukan Gendai magazine devote three full pages to profiling it? ...

As births fall, economies may falter

May 8, 2014

As births fall, economies may falter

by Bernard Condon

Nancy Strumwasser, a New Jersey high school teacher, always thought she would have two children. But the layoffs that swept over the U.S. economy around the time her son was born six years ago helped change her mind. Though she and her husband, a ...

Skin divers turn to tourism to stem the tide

Apr 24, 2014

Skin divers turn to tourism to stem the tide

by Chikako Mogi

At the Sea People restaurant in Shima, a coastal hamlet in Mie Prefecture, sea diver Machiyo Yamashita wants a piece of a tourism industry dominated by the cities that sapped her town’s vitality by luring away its youth. “I want to cook and serve ...