My Money, My Home

In Japan seven years ago, the central government began allowing city residents to divert a proportion of their income-tax payments to a furusato of their choice, a schema known as the furusato nozei, and the response has been overwhelming: in the last fiscal year rural towns earned $1.2 billion from such contributions. Some city-dwellers still harbour strong feelings towards their furusato, or home town, that rural area which their forebears may have left many decades ago, but others choose a furusato simply because they like the area. Lucky rural towns, suffering financially as a result of ageing and shrinking, are especially delighted as the furusato nozei is proving a windfall.

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