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05. “Thoughts on Settling in Fukuoka City”





[August 17, 2015] Fukuoka Growth 2015-2016 GlobalCityStatus リレーコラム   View this post in pdf pdficon_small (2.54MB, Japanese)

Column 05. Thoughts on Settling in Fukuoka City
— Creating a Society in Which One Can Choose the City They Live In —

(by Takayuki KUBO, Senior Researcher/ Director of Information Strategy Office)
Recently the mass media has often discussed the issue embodied in the keyword “settling (in a new place).” In the Greater Tokyo Graying Crisis Prevention Strategy proposed by the Japan Policy Council in June of this year, forty-one local communities throughout Japan that can provide medical and nursing services were listed as possible places for the elderly to settle in. After that, The promotion of the Japan Continuing Care and Retirement Community (CCRC) concept was included in the City, People, Job-Creation Basic Policy 2015 adopted by the government, and getting the elderly to settle in suburban areas is developing into a national policy.
“Settling (in a new area)” basically means that everything, except for a person’s family, changes. In addition to, of course, a person’s home and surrounding environment, a person starts over with a new community, work, school, friends, interests, etc. “Settling (in a new area)” requires substantial energy. It is probably extremely difficult to demand this of the elderly. If people are going to settle in new areas, it would be better to make that decision when they are young and full of energy.
Since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the mass media has often looked at people who have settled in Fukuoka. One of those people is the representative of Smart Design Associates Mr. Suga, who promotes the Fukuoka Migration Project while operating the shared office SALT for IT entrepreneurs. According to an interview with Mr. Suga in the personal blog SHOWCASE Fukuoka, “during about a two year period, more than 600 people have taken part in events put on through the Fukuoka Migration Project to get people to think about settling in the city, and about ten couples have decided to actually make the move.” This figure, however, is probably just the tip of the iceberg. In this piece, I estimate the number of people who have left the greater Tokyo metropolitan area and settled in Fukuoka City since 2011.
First, let’s figure out the change in the number of Japanese residents of Fukuoka City in 2014. During that year, 69,628 people moved into Fukuoka City while 62,170 moved out. This resulted in a net increase of 7,458 people. Looking at a breakdown of this number, the largest number of people who moved into Fukuoka City were from other cities in Fukuoka Prefecture, and the group with the next largest net inflow were people from other prefectures in Kyushu and Yamaguchi Prefecture. Another distinguishing feature is the large size of the net inflow of women. On the other hand, there tended to be a net outflow of people from Fukuoka to the three major metropolitan areas of Japan (Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka), and this was particularly true for Tokyo. In other words, there was a major inflow of people to Fukuoka City from areas of Kyushu but a gradual outflow of people from Fukuoka City, mainly to Tokyo.
Next, let’s look at the number of people moving between Tokyo and Fukuoka City from 2005 through 2014 by age group. The net outflow from Fukuoka City to Tokyo was particularly large for people 15‒19 and 20‒24 years old. These are the ages when people enter university or start working. Furthermore, although small, there was a net inflow of people 55‒64 years old to Fukuoka City from Tokyo. This was the one age group for which there was a net inflow of people to Fukuoka City from Tokyo, and it is the age when people retire from their company. One can interpret this as the fact that many young people move from Fukuoka City to Tokyo to study at university or find work, and some people return after retiring.
As for the size of the net outflow of people from Fukuoka City to Tokyo, the number was 2,000‒3,000 people annually starting in 2005, fell to almost 0 in 2011, and then rose again through 2014. It appears that people temporarily returned to Fukuoka City because of the Great East Japan Earthquake but are now going back. However, comparing people who moved between Tokyo and Fukuoka City in 2010, before the earthquake, by age group with similar figures for 2011‒2014, reveals the following distinguishing characteristics. (1) There was almost no change for people 15‒24 years old; the earthquake had no discernible impact on people who were entering school or finding a job. (2) There was a net inflow to Fukuoka of people 0‒14 and 25‒44 years old, which is probably because families moved to and settled down in Fukuoka on account of the earthquake.
According to figures for 2011–2014, the additional almost 2,300 people who should have been living in Tokyo at the end of 2014 compared to 2010 are probably living in Fukuoka City. In 2015, there may be an increase in the number of people moving from Fukuoka City to Tokyo (that is, people returning to Tokyo from Fukuoka City), but there are sure to be a certain number of people who leave Tokyo and settle in Fukuoka City.
Fukuoka City has a large flow in its population. Comparing the percent increase and decrease in people during 2014 for the wards of Tokyo and government-designated cities reveals that for Fukuoka City, about 9% of the population either moved in (including those who changed residence in the city) or were born and around 8% of the population either moved out (including those who changed residence in the city) or died. This means that about 10% of our community was replaced during that one year. The reason for the large flow of the population is the large number of students. Each year, a large number of new college students come to Fukuoka, and many new college graduates leave Fukuoka. Furthermore, there is large changeover in the “transferee population,” people working in branch offices or stores, which account for more than half of businesses in Fukuoka City.
In this way, a large number of Fukuoka City’s population are mobile people from throughout Japan, including Tokyo, and an environment and mindset for accepting people from outside the area has developed. Therefore, there are probably many opportunities for these mobile people to settle in the area. In order for the current generation to settle in the area, however, they need to find work. A common issue for local communities throughout Japan is how to provide people who settle in the area with attractive employment opportunities.
Fukuoka City is probably at the difficult stage of creating a cycle in which building up attractive employment opportunities attracts outstanding human resources, and this accumulation of outstanding human resources then leads to more attractive employment opportunities. In Seattle, one of the top “third axis” cities, this cycle appears to have taken root as a business ecosystem on account of tech businesses, such as Microsoft and Amazon (See Jun Sato’s Chihotoshi No Kasseika Ni Tsuite Shiatoru Kara Manabu (Learning about Revitalizing Regional Cities from Seattle) for details). When looking at population moves in both Seattle and King County (population of about 2 million), which forms the greater Seattle metropolitan area, there is a net inflow of people to King County from many U.S. states. In particular, there is a net inflow of people from New York State and the U. S. capital Washington DC, on the East Coast, and many people choose to live and work in Seattle
In order to transform the nascent trend among people currently working to settle in Fukuoka into a major movement like the one in Seattle, it is necessary for Fukuoka City to create its own unique ecosystem. It can be argued that Fukuoka City, which is promoting efforts related to the Special Zone for Global Startups and Job Creation, is exactly at that creation stage.

05. 福岡市への「移住」について考える~住む都市を選択する社会へ

テキスト:上席主任研究員・情報戦略室長 久保隆行

最近、「移住」というキーワードがメディアで良く使われるようになりました。今年6月に日本創生会議が提言した「東京圏高齢化危機回避戦略」では、医療や介護の受け入れ機能が整っている全国の41地域が高齢者の「移住」の候補地として挙げられました。のちに、政府が決定した「まち・ひと・しごと創生基本方針2015」において、「日本版CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community)構想」の推進が盛り込まれ、高齢者の地方への「移住」は国家的な政策へと発展しつつあります。


「SALT」外観 fggcs2015_05_photo02_tmb fggcs2015_05_photo03_tmb








Image is for illustration purposes only. (Photos are taken in Fukuoka City)
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