National

Japan's government hoping to stop net population inflows into Tokyo by 2024

JIJI

The central government aims to stop net population inflows into the greater Tokyo area by fiscal 2024, it was learned Tuesday.

The goal was included in a draft of the government’s second five-year comprehensive strategy for regional revitalization, set to run from fiscal 2020.

The government hopes to gain Cabinet approval for the new strategy, a successor to the first strategy that covered fiscal 2015-2019, by the end of this month.

In the second strategy, the government will scrutinize steps taken under the first strategy and indicate a direction for new measures to accelerate regional revitalization.

To alleviate the concentration of people in Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, the government will make efforts to increase the number of people who have side jobs in rural areas or visit the countryside while living in urban areas.

It hopes to raise the number of local governments working on related projects to 1,000. It will also set a goal of having 60,000 people who have lived in urban areas start businesses or secure employment in rural areas by 2024.

Under the first strategy, the government aimed to stop net population inflows into the Tokyo area by 2020, but that timeline was effectively abandoned.

According to a survey by the internal affairs ministry, the number of people who moved into the area in 2018 exceeded the number of people who moved out by 136,000.

Meanwhile, the draft vows to “take advantage of the trends of the new era.” Specifically, the government will promote the spread of 5G wireless communications networks.

It will also aim to increase the number of local governments that use cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence-based agriculture and autonomous driving to resolve the challenges they face and improve their situations.

The state will also strengthen support for local communities that are preparing to offer telecommunications services, as well as those that are developing and securing human resources.

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