Japan authorities agree to promote rural migration to combat virus


Economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and National Governors’ Association Chairman Kamon Iizumi agreed Thursday to work together in promoting “a new way of living” and migration to rural areas to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“A growing number of people are wishing to work in rural areas instead of urban areas with high infection risks,” Nishimura said in a videoconference with Iizumi. “It’s a good opportunity to promote regional revitalization.”

The minister also said he hopes to distribute more subsidies to municipalities than was done during the economic crisis following the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008, under the fiscal 2020 draft second supplementary budget that was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday.

Iizumi called on the government to pave the way for promoting the new way of living, including drafting legislation.

“Concentration of people leads to great vulnerability to diseases,” he said regarding the plan to promote migration to rural regions. “We hope to jointly create a new national structure that is more dispersed and on a new dimension.”

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