Japan to offer families £6,394 per child to move out of Tokyo

Japan is set to offer families up to £6,394 per child to move out of Tokyo as part of efforts to combat population concentration in the capital.

The Japanese government believes creating more balance between those living in urban and rural areas will improve the economy.

Although it has slightly declined in recent years, Tokyo's metropolitan area remains very densely populated, with around 37.1 million residents - almost a third of the country's overall population.

A threefold increase on the existing 300,000 yen (£1,918) per child for relocating families, the fresh incentive comes on top of the maximum 3million yen (£19,188) in base financial support already available, according to media reports.

About 1,300 municipalities have taken part in the relocation support programme during the current fiscal year.

To qualify for the payments families must live in a participating municipality for at least five years while employed.

They will be asked to return the money if they move out short of the required time.

The latest move comes as Japan also reckons with the problems posed by having an ageing population.

Last year, the country's over-75s accounted for more than 15% of the population for the first time, according to government data cited by local media.