Population inflow to Tokyo is increasing again…What happened to the “teleworking and living in the countryside” that was advanced by the COVID-19 crisis? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Population inflow to Tokyo is increasing again…What happened to the “teleworking and living in the countryside” that was advanced by the COVID-19 crisis?

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Remote work” => “moving to the countryside”… it wasn’t that simple.

It is said that the COVID-19 crisis has led to an increase in telework and an increase in the number of people moving out of Tokyo to rural areas….

Even during the COVID-19 crisis, the only year that saw an excess of out-migration in Tokyo was 2021, and the rest of the time there has been an excess of in-migration to Tokyo. I am a bit skeptical that remote work will continue to eliminate the unipolar concentration in the Tokyo area.

says Dr. Tsukasa Matsuura, Associate Professor at Chuo University’s Faculty of Economics.

Last December, the government formulated the “Digital Rural City National Concept” as a five-year comprehensive strategy, setting a target of 10,000 people from the Tokyo area to move to rural areas by FY2027… (Photo: AFLO)

According to the “Basic Ledger Population Movement Report 2021” and “Basic Ledger Population Movement Report 2022” by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, 14,828 more people moved out of the 23 wards of Tokyo to outside the wards or to other prefectures than moved in. One would think that this would end the concentration of residents in Tokyo, but in 2022, the situation has changed drastically, with 21,420 people moving into the 23 wards, the highest number in the nation.

In 2022, 11 prefectures, including Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka, will have the largest number of in-migrants. In the Tokyo metropolitan area (Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa prefectures), 99,519 people will be moving in, an increase of 17,820 people from 2021.

I hear that many companies still encourage remote work.

I hear that many companies still encourage remote work, but “companies that allow remote work are also concentrated in urban areas. And even if you move to a rural area, there is also the problem of whether or not you will fit in.

In fact, Ikeda Town in Fukui Prefecture published “Seven Articles of Ikeda Life” in its public relations magazine, which became a hot topic on SNS. The message became a topic of conversation on social networking sites.

Some people who thought they could live in the midst of nature found it difficult to remove snow from their homes, and others who moved to a remote island found that the price of daily necessities was higher than expected because they were brought in by boat. Some people say, “I can’t live like this.

More and more companies have decided to abolish or reduce telework

Finding a job => getting married => something to have children… The reality of “not recognizing diverse ways of life” in rural areas stands in the way of women in their 20s.

Dr. Tsukasa Matsuura also focuses on the age of newcomers.

The number of women aged 15-19 has hardly changed since 2000, but the number of those aged 20-24 has increased. Prior to that time, the late teens were moving into the Tokyo area, but the 20-24 year olds were moving out.

This indicates that people are going to universities in the Tokyo area but returning to their hometowns for employment, but recently it has meant that people are graduating from universities and going directly to work in the Tokyo area, or graduating from local universities and going to work in the Tokyo area.”

Among those in their 20s, more women than men remain in Tokyo. In fact, in 2021, when the COVID-19 crisis caused an excess of out-migration, there were still 6,777 female out-migrants.

One possible reason for this is that they cannot find jobs they want to do in the countryside. In addition, although “diversity” has been talked about a lot recently, in some rural areas, people still think that once you get a job, you should get married and have children.

It is important to recognize the diversity of lifestyles, but I think it is difficult for values to change rapidly.

There is a lot of talk about measures to combat the declining birthrate, but unless something is done about the burden placed on women, the birthrate will not rise and fewer people will want to get married. In fact, according to Dr. Matsuura’s research, the positive effect of marriage on happiness is lower for women than for men.

In the second year of the COVID-19 crisis, the number of men who moved into the area turned out to be 1,344 more than women, while the number of women moved out was 6,777 (from a press release by the Global Urban Real Estate Institute).

Last December, the government formulated the “Digital Rural City National Concept” as a five-year comprehensive strategy, setting a target of 10,000 people moving from the Tokyo area to rural areas by FY2027. The government also plans to increase the number of “satellite offices” for remote work throughout Japan. However, the

The COVID-19 crisis has made me realize the importance of face to face contact with people. In fact, the university where I work now has a policy that, in principle, all classes are held face-to-face. There is a lot of work that can only be done face-to-face, and I wonder to what extent the government’s policy is feasible.”

Tsukasa Matsuura is an associate professor at the Faculty of Economics, Chuo University. He specializes in population economics. Formerly a part-time lecturer at the Faculty of Economics, Konan University, and a research fellow at the Research Center for Advanced Policy Analysis, Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University. His research interests include the impact of the shift to single-person households among the elderly on poverty and well-being, and theoretical and econometric analysis of the effect of the number of children on the well-being of married couples. His publications include Gendai Jinsei Keizaigaku (Contemporary Population Economics) (Nippon Hyoronsha) and SDGs no Jinsei Gaku (Demography of the SDGs) (Hara Shobo).

  • Interview and text Izumi Nakagawa

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