Even as the COVID-19 outbreak has helped Japan’s industrial behemoths cobble together the necessary tools for employees to work from home, more and more Japanese city dwellers are contemplating a move to the countryside.

This isn’t a completely new trend. I-turn, U-turn and J-turn are existing economic terms to describe people who move between urban and rural environments: U-turn describes those who moved from the countryside to the city, and are now returning to their hometowns; I-turn describes those from the city moving to the countryside; while J-turn refers to people originally from the countryside who, after moving to the city, return to a place near their hometown.

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