Japanese City Will Provide Newly-Weds Subsidies For Moving Near Elderlies
In an attempt to reverse the decline in the elderly population, a Japanese city offers to pay young couples a lump-sum payment to move into housing complexes with many elderly residents.
Chiba City has decided to provide recently married couples about 2.3k USD or 300,000 yen to shift to those residences. Eligible are those recognized as life partners by the city’s partnership program, including gay couples. Only people under 39 years old can apply.
VICE World News’ assistant director for the city’s building management department, Takeshi Tanikawa, said that they hope young couples will move into the buildings to help them or fill the job gaps.
Japan is a country of the rising sun, but its’ population consists of the majority of elderly and has a low birthrate. It has struggled with a declining society since the 1970s. Officials worry that a shrinking workforce could slow economic growth and labor shortages if the problem is not solved.
Japanese Population Down By 644,000 In 2021
These issues have mostly been borne by less urban areas, such as Chiba city (which was once called Japan’s ghost town). As in many other countries, young people migrate to the capital of Japan for better job opportunities. This causes a high concentration of people in large urban areas and suburban areas that are dying.
Municipalities in these areas must develop innovative solutions to attract young people to their communities for them to survive.
The village of Kosuge, Yamanashi prefecture, was known for its picturesque setting with Mount Fuji. In 2017, it began building tiny homes to attract young people. Minamisoma in Fukushima prefecture opened in 2019, a co-working space that doubles up as accommodation.
A cash payment could be all that is needed to move into Chiba City, in addition to the beautiful scenery and central location.
“It’s surrounded by the ocean, rivers, and large parks, but it’s not too far from the city,” stated Tanikawa, who works for Chiba’s building management division.
He said that the danchi (housing units) in which applicants live to get the compensation are close to schools, nurseries, and stores. This makes it an ideal place to live for people who want to start families.
Chiba city says that more than 36% of these danchi residents are older than 65. This is more than 10 percent higher than the total population of Chiba city. Over half the residents in some buildings are more aged.
Japan’s prefectures saw the most considerable population decline as the nation shrank by 0.51 percent in 2021 to 125.5 million.
Even Tokyo, a major destination for overseas and domestic migration, is experiencing a decline. In 2021, Tokyo saw the most decline in population from the last 25 years, that is by 0.37 percent. This was due to strict border controls that limited the flow of foreign workers.
Source: Vice World News
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