Japan To Beef Up Support For Border Islands

Japan to beef up support for border islands

NHK has learned the Japanese government will likely boost economic aid for remote, inhabited islands close to the country's maritime borders.

Seventy-one remote islands have the government's special designation as areas that should be kept inhabited to help protect Japan's territorial waters and exclusive economic zones.

The designation cuts sea and air fares for routes to the islands. This is to help prevent the islands from becoming uninhabited.

But the islands have recently been reeling from economic implications of the coronavirus, such as a fall in tourist numbers.

In response, the government will likely expand subsidies to shore up employment and tourism businesses on the islands.

The money may be spent to build accommodations where people can telework and enjoy the islands' allure on days off and after work.

Another possible initiative is helping create travel packages that involve chartered flights to the islands.

The Cabinet Office plans to include more than 6 billion yen, or roughly 57 million dollars, for the programs in its budget request for the fiscal year starting next April.