What is the regional migration system for Country life?
The system is a six-year program that begins in 2019 and will last until 2025. The national government has launched a program to support emigration to the countryside for a period of six years from 2019 to 2025. The details of the support programs vary from country to country and municipality to municipality, and they range from eye-opening for those who wish to emigrate to those who need to be careful. Let's take a look at some of the specific support programs that are available.
National Migration Support Programs
First, let's take a look at the national immigration support system. The details can be found on the website of the Secretariat for Promotion of Regional Development of the Cabinet Office. This program is basically for those who live or commute to the Tokyo area, so those who live in other areas are not eligible for this program.
Start-up Support Grant
The Start-up Support Grant is a program that supports start-ups that address regional issues from the perspectives of "sociality," "business potential," and "necessity" up to a maximum of 2 million yen. Specific projects that are expected to be supported include those related to the promotion of community development, support for vulnerable shoppers, childcare support, and restaurants that make use of local products, etc. The amount equivalent to half of the start-up costs of these businesses will be supported.
Migration Support Grant
The Start-up Support Grant is a program that supports start-ups that address regional issues from the perspectives of "sociality," "business potential," and "necessity" up to a maximum of 2 million yen. Specific projects are expected to include those related to the promotion of community development, support for vulnerable shoppers, childcare support, and restaurants that utilize local products, etc. The amount equivalent to half of the start-up costs of these businesses will be supported.
Other Support Programs
In addition to the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the Japan Finance Corporation also offer government programs to support emigration. Specifically, there is a housing loan subsidy program for those who have received the Migrant Support Program, subsidies for employers who hire migrants from the Tokyo area to cover the cost of recruitment activities, and loans for the opening of businesses and Start-up Support Grants for companies of migrants.
Support Programs by Prefectural and Local Governments
There are two main types of support programs offered by prefectural and local governments for immigrants. Depending on what you want to do in your new location and the purpose of your migration, you should first check to see if you are eligible to use a support system that suits you.
Migration to an Old Folk Houses
This is a subsidy program related to the "Bank for Vacant Houses" for those who renovate a vacant house in a prefecture or municipality and move to the area. This category has often been featured on TV programs and SNS, and is attracting attention mainly from the younger generation. The cost of renovating an old private house varies depending on the condition of the property, but in general, the renovation costs are higher than those of an ordinary house, so the local government subsidizes part of the costs. The local government has a lot of work to do to manage vacant houses, so it is a win-win situation for both the immigrants and the local government if the immigrants can live in vacant houses that they do not have.
Many local governments offer support programs for primary industry, such as support for farmers to start farming. In the case of support for farm employment, the process begins with a farm tour, followed by hands-on experience, a training program, and then the lending of farm equipment. In addition to agriculture, forestry and fisheries may also be covered, depending on the local industry, and it is not uncommon to find support programs offered by prefectural governments in addition to municipal support programs.
Points to note when using the system
It is a very encouraging assistance program for immigrants, and if the conditions are right, they are encouraged to take advantage of the program. However, since the government is basically trying to convert migrants to residents and ultimately increase the population and tax revenue, there are various requirements and conditions associated with the program. For details, it is better to check the website of each prefecture or municipality, so here are just the main points. The first thing to check is the application period of the program. Since each program is renewed every fiscal year, the maximum number of applicants may have been reached even during the application period. Popular municipalities may fill up quickly, so it is recommended that you check the application period frequently. In some cases, there is an age limit for immigrants, and support may vary depending on whether you are a single person or not. In addition, there are cases where you are required to live in your new residence for at least 5 years after moving to a new area (vacation home use is not allowed).
Merits and demerits of emigrating to a region
Now that we have briefly introduced the support systems for emigration, we would like to look at the merits and demerits of emigrating to a rural area from a slightly different perspective.
What are the merits of emigrating to a regional area?
Let's look at the merits of emigrating to a rural area in bullet-point form.
- -You can take care of your children in a great natural environment.
- -There is a good support system for raising children.
- -Cheaper living expenses such as house rent and food.
- -Low cost of living (rent, food, etc.) ・Living free from pollution, noise, etc.
Those who feel constrained or threatened by the urban living system may find a place to live in a regional area.
What are the demerits of moving to a regional area?
We will then look at the disadvantages.
- -Worries about the fragility of infrastructure facilities.
- -Fewer options for schooling, employment, etc.
- -A car is basically necessary to get around.
While not as cramped as in cities, it is not uncommon to find hospitals, fire departments, and other facilities not close by. In rural areas, it is more common than in cities for small communities to work together to help each other, and this may be a point where good socializing and communication skills are required.
Unique Support Systems in Each Prefecture
Finally, we would like to touch on some unique examples of support programs offered by each prefecture.
Examples of support from each municipality
The city of Kanoya in Kagoshima Prefecture has a system to subsidize those who are looking for housing and work for the purpose of immigration. The city also subsidizes half of the rental fee for a rental car used for transportation.
Wakayama Prefecture provides subsidies of up to 500,000 yen to people under the age of 60 working in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries who move to a designated area from outside the prefecture. In addition, a subsidy of up to 1,000,000 yen is also provided for initial expenses, which may be a good option for those who are interested in starting a fishery business.
Gifu Prefecture provides subsidies for the renovation of vacant houses for households moving into a vacant house from outside the prefecture. Each municipality has a subsidy system that is linked to local industries and banks for vacant houses. There may be other cities, towns, and villages that we have not been able to introduce here that are implementing innovative and unique programs to support immigrants in order to stop depopulation. If you are interested in such programs, we recommend that you consult with the concierge of each municipality if you are in a large city. Even if you are in a rural area, it might be a good idea to remember the places you visited on your trip and check for immigration programs just for the sake of curiosity.
The above is an introduction to the regional immigration support system. Today, with the changing times, we can live in many different ways. We have even heard stories of people who have found themselves losing sight of themselves as if a thread had been severed in the midst of their frantic daily lives. It might be a good idea to reevaluate your living environment, which is the base of your life, after having a new talk about what kind of life is best for you and your family.