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Japan to offer $9,000 to remote workers in countryside

Money to help those who want keep their Tokyo jobs but live elsewhere

The the COVID-19 pandemic could prove a boon for rural areas if the growth of remote work lets keep their jobs in Tokyo. (Source photos by Ken Kobayashi and Kosaku Mimura)

TOKYO -- The Japanese government is planning to offer up to 1 million yen ($9,500) to people who move to rural areas while continuing to do their jobs in Tokyo remotely.

The subsidy program, which begins in the fiscal year starting next April, will offer up to 3 million yen to people who set up new information technology businesses in the countryside. With the novel coronavirus changing the way people work, the hope is that more people will move out of big cities, giving depopulated rural areas a badly needed lift.

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