National

Japan to boost aid to major cities except Tokyo as it looks to revitalize other regions

JIJI

The government presented a proposal on Tuesday to revise its regional revitalization strategy, including strengthened support for major cities outside the Tokyo metropolitan area.

To combat the over-concentration of people and businesses in the capital, the government aims to create attractive footholds nationwide.

Excluding those in Tokyo and its three neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, the program will chiefly cover prefectural capitals, ordinance-designated major cities and so-called core cities, which can serve as centers of regional economies.

The government intends to set up a system in which ministries and agencies will make efforts across various sectors to address each of the regional policy challenges, such as the revitalization of shopping streets and the development of an international business environment.

The government will provide support, such as raising the upper limit on subsidies for regional revitalization projects.

The proposal is set to be adopted by the Cabinet as early as Friday.

Following the recent enactment of the revised immigration control law, aimed at allowing more foreign nationals to join Japan’s workforce, the government will actively offer financial support to municipalities that accept more foreign workers. Using the subsidies, the government aims to encourage multicultural projects, including exchanges with local residents.

The proposal also includes deregulation to make it easier for stores and welfare facilities to be established within suburban residential complexes, as well as a support program under which up to ¥3 million will be given to residents of Tokyo’s densely populated 23 wards, as well as commuters to the city, after they move outside the capital.