Accelerating corporate "de-metropolitan area" -The manager who decided-March 7, 20:32

It turned out that the movement of companies to "de-metropolitan area" is progressing at an unprecedented speed.

With the spread of the new coronavirus infection, corporate telework has become widespread, and more and more people are realizing how to work without being tied to where they live or work. The move to move to is accelerating.

Why did you decide?

Is the business successful with the move?

I asked the manager who chose to de-metropolitan area.


(Hidetoshi Inomata / Kotaro Tanigawa, Reporter, Ministry of Economic Affairs)

The number of "de-metropolitan areas" is the highest ever

According to a survey by the credit bureau "Teikoku Databank", 351 companies moved their head offices and head office functions from the Tokyo metropolitan area (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama prefectures) to rural areas in 2021, and the data is available. It has become the most since 1990.

In addition, the number of companies that moved from rural areas to the Tokyo metropolitan area was 328, and the number of out-migrants exceeded that of in-migrants.

This is the first excess in 11 years since 2010, when companies that disliked high costs moved to rural areas one after another after the Lehman shock.



In particular, the number of companies that moved out of Tokyo reached 893, far exceeding the number of companies that moved in.

The number of “excessive out-migrants” has reached 320, which is significantly higher than in other prefectures in the metropolitan area.

The biggest factor is corona

It was the spread of the new coronavirus that accelerated the movement of the “de-metropolitan area”.

Tokyo, where the head offices and bases of all companies are gathered, has more business opportunities than anywhere else, such as sales and recruitment, but the spread of infection has highlighted the issue of concentration.

Due to the large number of people living together, strict restrictions were imposed on behavior and economic activities.

Many of the companies that decided to move out had their business performance deteriorated due to the influence of Corona, and it seems that some companies abandoned keeping them in Tokyo due to the heavy cost burden such as office rent.



In 2020, strict behavioral restrictions were imposed by the state of emergency, and it seems that the movement to move to rural areas has surfaced the following year.

5 times more than before Corona, a company that moved to Hokkaido

On the other hand, compared to before Corona, "Hokkaido" has the largest number of companies moving in from the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The number of companies moving in from the Tokyo metropolitan area is 33, an increase of 26 companies compared to 2019 before Corona, which is about five times as many.


* Detailed data for each prefecture is at the end

Around New Chitose Airport, the empty gateway to Hokkaido, local governments are actively attracting companies. For example, in the case of a food processing company, it is cheaper to set up in Hokkaido than to set up a base in Tokyo.

In addition, the use of Hokkaido ingredients can improve the brand image, so it seems that the number of companies that want to take advantage of the favorable location and the attractiveness of the region has increased.



Next, the number of people moving in from the Tokyo metropolitan area increased compared to before Corona, such as "Osaka prefecture (+14 companies)", "Miyagi prefecture (+10 companies)", "Okayama prefecture (+9 companies)", and "Hyogo prefecture (+7 companies)". It continues with.

In addition, "Fukuoka Prefecture," "Miyagi Prefecture," and "Hiroshima Prefecture" had the highest number of in-migrants from the Tokyo metropolitan area.



Until now, the largest number of people moving in from the metropolitan area was in the three northern Kanto prefectures (Ibaraki, Tochigi, and Gunma prefectures), but due to the spread of remote work, remote areas and population densities farther from the metropolitan area. It can be seen that core cities and local cities with low population density are also promising candidates for relocation.

Startups are also increasing their migration from the metropolitan area

Looking at the companies that have moved from the metropolitan area to rural areas by industry and size, we can see that there are many "small and light" companies.

"Service industry" was the most common by industry.

Unlike the manufacturing industry, it does not require a large factory, so it is easy to relocate.



Of the service industry, the "software industry", which is the so-called vendor of software development, maintenance and management, accounts for more than 10% of the total.

By sales scale, "less than 100 million yen" was the most common, accounting for 50%.

In particular, the percentage of startups that have just started has risen far above Corona.



There is a movement to go out to rural areas with the aim of expanding R & D facilities, centered on startups engaged in drones and biotechnology.

On the other hand, the largest number of companies that moved from rural areas to the Tokyo metropolitan area were those with sales of "100 to less than 1 billion yen", accounting for about 40% of the total sales of "less than 100 million yen".



It seems that a growing company has moved to the Tokyo metropolitan area, where there are many business partners and business opportunities, in search of opportunities.

"Concentration tendency, cut off"

Tomohiro Uenishi, director of Teikoku Databank, who summarized the survey results, points out that the long-standing tendency of companies to "concentrate in the metropolitan area" was clearly cut off.

Teikoku Databank Tomohiro Uenishi, General Manager of Information Management Department


"I was frankly surprised that companies in the Tokyo metropolitan area were over-migrated due to the corona disaster. It takes a lot of courage, but you can't make a profit as a company and you can't stay in pain for a long time. Therefore, some managers decide that they will seize business opportunities in rural areas. Further exchange information online. It's become commonplace, so I don't have to be in Tokyo anymore. From now on, the opposite movement of setting up the head office in a rural area and occasionally coming to Tokyo may take root. "

Escape from the accelerating metropolitan area.

I was able to talk to the manager who actually decided to move to a rural area.

Software sales company: Kawasaki City → Obihiro City, Hokkaido (population 160,000)

Obihiro City, Hokkaido is the central city of the Tokachi region, which is also known as the "food supply base of Japan" where upland farming and dairy farming are flourishing.

President Ryota Ishikawa (35), who runs a software sales company in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, moved his company and life headquarters to Obihiro in 2021.

After working for a major construction company, he worked for an IT-related venture, but two years ago he started a company that sells software that supports the digitization of the construction industry, making use of his experience.

Headquartered in Kawasaki City, which is adjacent to Tokyo, we have increased the number of customers.



However, even though Obihiro is the best city in Tokachi, it does not seem that there are so many construction-related customers.



Why did you decide to move?

Mr. Ishikawa points out that business etiquette has changed due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection.

Mr. Ishikawa


"The main reason is that sales activities at zoom are no longer rude to customers. I think it was a culture that it was rude to do business without visiting in front of Corona. After the meeting was established, I decided that I could do business no matter where I set up the company. "

When I was working at a construction company, it was natural for a sales person to go to a customer even for a meeting that took only 15 minutes by phone, and Mr. Ishikawa was wondering how that should be done.



In addition, he says he came to Obihiro and realized that he had a "metropolitan area brand belief" himself.

Mr. Ishikawa


"In order to do business with large companies, there was a belief that the address of the head office in the metropolitan area would lead to trust, but that was just a belief, and there was no effect even after the move. "

Mr. Ishikawa says that he is motivated to work because he is doing all the good things, including the environment for raising children, which is rich in nature.

Mr. Ishikawa


"Why did you choose Obihiro? I was born in Kanagawa prefecture, but I spent my junior high and high school days in Obihiro and wanted to live in the midst of nature. As the relationship was built, I began to seriously think about the development of the city in order to do a job that could contribute to Obihiro. "

System development company: Nihonbashi, Tokyo → Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture (population 130,000)

Awaji Island in the Seto Inland Sea.

The specialty is onions, sea bathing and hot springs, but it became a hot topic when a major human resources service company announced that it would relocate most of its headquarters functions.

In October 2020, a startup known to those in the know relocated its headquarters to Awaji Island.

It is a "bank guard" that develops a phishing prevention system.



Haruhiko Fujii (47), president of this company, was founded in Kichijoji, Tokyo in 2015 after working as a researcher at NTT Laboratories.

He has developed a unique system that uses pictograms instead of numbers when authenticating himself in online banking, etc., and has attracted attention in the fintech industry.



The company had moved its headquarters to Nihonbashi, but Mr. Fujii was also skeptical about staying in Tokyo, which requires high office rents, as the online conference became established.

Mr. Fujii


"I can't escape from unnecessary meetings when I'm in Tokyo, but when I say" I'm in Awaji Island, "the other person gives up easily (laughs). Besides, I think the affinity between the region and IT is very high. For system development, it's better to be surrounded by mountains and the sea. "

Mr. Fujii was born and raised in Awaji Island.



He says that the move of the company has strengthened his desire to contribute not only to the company's business but also to the revitalization of the local economy.



In response to a consultation from the city, we came up with an idea from the standpoint of the management regarding the development of the coworking space being promoted by the city of Minamiawaji, the relocation destination.

Makoto Hayashi, Minamiawaji City


"I'm grateful to hear the voices of the users casually as to what kind of facility the users should take. The existence of Mr. Fujii proves that teleworking on Awaji Island is possible. I'm hoping that it will be like an advertising tower. "

Mr. Fujii


"I would like to do whatever I can give advice for the development of the local area. Even if you are a company in the Tokyo metropolitan area, if you try teleworking on Awaji Island for a month, you will find a job even if it is not in Tokyo. I think you'll realize that you can do it. You should throw away your beliefs. "

It seems that there are not always positive reasons for companies to move their headquarters to rural areas, such as to reduce office rents or to give up business in the metropolitan area and return to their hometown.



However, as the two business owners who decided to relocate from the metropolitan area told us, the corona disaster caused a change in Japanese business customs and the way of working, which is the "de-metropolitan area" of the company. There is no doubt that it is connected to.



From the perspective of rural areas, it is a great opportunity to attract companies from the metropolitan area, but at the same time, it is also a competition between rural areas as to how to improve the environment in order to be selected as a relocation destination.



Will the flow of "de-metropolitan area" become even bigger, or will it return to the original concentration after the corona disaster has subsided?



Not only the business of a company, but also the state of the local economy may be greatly influenced.


Hidetoshi Inomata ,

Reporter, Ministry of Economic Affairs


Joined in 2012


Hakodate Bureau After working at Toyama Bureau, he currently belongs to the


steel and electrical industry, and now covers the Financial Services Agency.


Kotaro Tanikawa  ,

a reporter from the Ministry of Economic Affairs , joined the information and communication industry in


2013


after working at the Okinawa and Osaka stations.

Keywords: