Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Remote islands of Japan eyed as 'workation' hubs

Oct 09. 2020
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By Syndication Washington Post, The Japan News-Yomiuri · No Author · WORLD, ASIA-PACIFIC 

The government plans to promote teleworking on remote islands close to its borders by supporting travel there, as it aims to preserve the nation's territory in addition to assisting local tourism.

The Cabinet Office will focus on promoting "workations" - a new lifestyle concept that combines work with vacation - on its remote inhabited islands by discounting travel costs and supporting the renovation of accommodation facilities.

Government support will partly cover the costs incurred by hotels and inns to create new work spaces for guests and set up satellite offices for companies. In order to make the facilities more convenient as workplaces, the government will also support the development of Wi-Fi and the operation of charter flights.

The Cabinet Office has earmarked 6.2 billion yenin its budget request for fiscal 2021.

Of the 148 inhabited remote islands, the government will support 71 across eight prefectures including Okushiri Island in Hokkaido, Miyakejima island in Tokyo and the Goto Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture.

The government has designated the 71 islands as Specific Inhabited Remote National Border Islands from the perspective of territorial integrity, because the islands could become uninhabited without proper maintenance.

This support is also meant to leverage local tourism, the main industry on these islands, which has been hit by the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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