Survey on the application of the Japanese home donation model to the conditions of Finland

The parliamentary working group on sparsely populated regions (HAMA) explored the potential of a mechanism such as Japan’s homestead donation system to strengthen the vitality of Finland’s HAMA regions.

Furusato Nozei, or the homestead donation model, is a popular operating model in Japan where citizens can make voluntary monetary donations to a municipality outside their residence. The donor can choose which application they want to allocate the funds to. As a return gift, the donor receives local produce such as food, services or gift items. In the Japanese model, the donation amount can be deducted for income tax purposes.

In this settlement work, the tax deduction option has been excluded from the review. It is about conceptualising a model in which the municipality could raise funds to strengthen vitality. For example, those who moved out or seasonal residents could donate funds to the municipality and receive local services, experiences and commodities in return. The purpose is to examine the doctrines of the Japanese model and implement case research on the model in the municipalities of Kuhmo, Maalahti and Puumala.

This report seeks service models that are of interest to municipal enterprises and communities and this means that the municipal society and services sector can be diversified while strengthening vitality. In addition to MDI, the working team included Pauliina Seppälä and Petteri Niskanen from, Associate Professor Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko from University of Tampere and Ikuie Nakayama, who is an expert in Japan at the University of Tampere.