The government will soon form an experts’ panel on policies to encourage young people to live and work in regional areas in its effort to alleviate overconcentration on Tokyo. The panel will discuss subsidies for local governments and dissemination of information appealing to young people, drafting a report by summer.
The key issue is to create a two-pronged trend where young people from the regions return to their hometown to work after completing studies in the Tokyo area (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba) and where young people in Tokyo move to the regions to live. The panel is expected to discuss the following: (1) providing subsidies to local governments implementing policies to attract young people; (2) holding employment seminars for regional high school students planning to study in the Tokyo area; and (3) using entertainers to advertise the merits of living in the regions.
Although the government is working to rectify overconcentration in Tokyo, it has been unsuccessful. The Tokyo area has seen the number of population inflow exceed outflow for 21 consecutive years. In 2016, inflow exceeded outflow by some 120,000 people. As a result, there is a serious shortage of young people in the regions.
Revised on Dec. 22, 2017 [sic; should be Dec. 22, 2016], the government’s comprehensive regional revitalization strategy now states that “areas that suffer a substantial decline in the population of children, young people, and senior citizens may face extinction.”