At the Dec. 14 meeting of the Council on Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalizing the Local Economy in Japan (chair: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe), the government decided to start looking into a framework to limit the establishment and expansion of universities and faculties in the 23 wards of Tokyo, with an eye to reducing the unipolar concentration of population on the capital. The government will put together policies on this matter by the summer of 2017, including examining the question of whether legislation needs to be revised.
The new government study is specified in the bill to revise the comprehensive strategy for regional revitalization, which established policy goals for the five-year period starting from fiscal 2015. A cabinet decision will be made [on the bill] at the end of this month.
The revision bill emphasizes the need to expand support for regional universities. It points out that a key reason why there is an exodus of young people from regional areas to the capital is because they leave their hometowns to go to college in Tokyo. Limiting the establishment and expansion of universities and faculties in Tokyo is aimed at increasing the number of students who enter regional universities by curbing the rise in university capacity in Tokyo.