Abe Resigning, Miles Away from Local Revitalization Goal

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 28 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is resigning while he is miles away from realizing local revitalization, one of his key policy goals.

The overconcentration of population and resources to Tokyo has yet to be corrected despite the Abe administration’s efforts to promote migration to the countryside and create jobs in regional areas partly through fiscal aid to local governments.

Abe has reiterated his pledge to revitalize regional communities as an essential step toward Japan’s regeneration, appointing Shigeru Ishiba, then secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, as the first regional revitalization minister in September 2014.

Abe set a goal of correcting the net inflow of people to the Tokyo metropolitan area and balancing the population inflows to and outflows from the area in 2020. According to internal affairs ministry data, however, the size of net population inflow to the Tokyo area grew for the third straight year in fiscal 2019, leading the government to push back the target year for achieving the goal to fiscal 2024.

As one of key measures for regional revitalization, the government aimed to relocate functions of central government agencies to the countryside from the Tokyo area. But the initiative tapered off. A plan to shift the entire functions of the Consumer Affairs Agency to Tokushima Prefecture, western Japan, was canceled, leaving the transfer of the Cultural Affairs Agency to the western city of Kyoto the only large-scale relocation.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press