Photo/IllutrationResidential lots expected to be sold for just 8 yen per “tsubo" (about 3.3 square meters) to attract families with young children to revitalize the depopulated town of Jinseki Kogen, Hiroshima Prefecture (Takeshii Amano)

JINSEKI KOGEN, Hiroshima Prefecture--Have 576 yen ($5.15) to spare?

You can buy a lot of land here if you have an elementary school child or younger and meet certain conditions.

Starting from April, Jinseki Kogen will be selling town-owned idle land as five residential lots for just 8 yen per “tsubo" (about 3.3 square meters) in an effort to attract families with young children to rejuvenate the depopulated town.

The dirt-cheap land lots, three at 239 square meters each for 576 yen, and two lots at 413 square meters each for 1,000 yen, are in the Toyomatsu district about 10 kilometers northeast of the town hall, the town said.

The gimmick to sell the residential lots at rock-bottom prices is part of measures to promote permanent settlement, one of Jinseki Kogen Mayor Yoshinori Irie’s priority issues.

The area involved in the real estate bonanza used to be a patch of Toyomatsu village before Jinseki Kogen was created in 2004 in the merger of the village and three towns.

As the populations declined, the number of children at the district’s only surviving school dwindled to 18. The town aims to boost the number of pupils as part of efforts to maintain the community.

The town, with a population of about 9,000, will start seeking applicants starting in April, with the following conditions, among others, for would-be residents: they must currently live outside the town; have an elementary school child or younger; and must complete building a house within three years after their purchase of the land.

If the town is deluged with applications, the winners will be decided by lottery.

Touting its convenient location, which is around 10 minutes or so on foot from an elementary school, the town’s branch office and a child-care center, the town is calling on people to apply.