Masako Tsubuku

For Masako Tsubuku's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

What's really behind the drop in home sales?

| Dec 5, 2014

What's really behind the drop in home sales?

Thanks to the upcoming snap election, which is being called a referendum for the government’s economic policies, everyone is aware that Japan’s GDP has worsened since the consumption tax was raised last April. A large portion of this drop is being attributed to declining ...

Homeowners resume debate on renewables

| Oct 31, 2014

Homeowners resume debate on renewables

In September, Kyushu Electric Power announced it would stop buying energy from solar-power suppliers due to over-supply and a lack of transmission capacity, setting off a debate about Japan’s dedication to renewable energy. While the decision to halt purchases of solar energy from any ...

Can Japan level its problem with vacant buildings?

| Sep 5, 2014

Can Japan level its problem with vacant buildings?

On July 29, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications released the results of its latest survey on Japanese housing, which it completed last fall and conducts every five years. The statistic that caught the media’s attention was the one for akiya, or vacant ...

Ticking the right tax boxes

| Aug 1, 2014

Ticking the right tax boxes

In most places in the world, property taxes, which are levied on buildings and land, are administered and collected by local governments for the benefit of local governments. This is also true in Japan, but it's useful to keep in mind that property tax ...

When should we make noise about loud neighbors?

| Jul 4, 2014

When should we make noise about loud neighbors?

In August 1974, a 46-year-old man living on the fourth floor of a public apartment building in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, forced his way into the unit below him and killed two little girls and their mother. After attempting suicide he was arrested, and he ...

Generation gaps filled by brick and mortar

| Jun 2, 2014

Generation gaps filled by brick and mortar

Though their numbers have dwindled in the developed world over the past century, multi-generation households are still common, and in fact may become even more common in countries where income gaps are increasing. In Japan, multi-generation households have social relevance owing to cultural norms, ...

Money that must go down the pan

| May 5, 2014

Money that must go down the pan

In almost all of Japan's major cities, close to 100 percent of the population are connected to public sewerage systems, but the farther away from cities you get the more the number drops. Tokushima Prefecture is the lowest, at 16.3 percent.