Masako Tsubuku

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

New housing options get smaller in the city

| Feb 4, 2017

New housing options get smaller in the city

Last month this column discussed how lack of city planning in the suburbs had led to an over-supply of new housing that exacerbated the well-publicized vacant-home problem. It should be noted, however, that populations in suburbs throughout Japan are declining — some slowly, others ...

Getting too cozy to the next-door neighbors

| Dec 31, 2016

Getting too cozy to the next-door neighbors

In its Dec. 20 issue, Asahi Shimbun reported on a couple in their 60s living in Saitama City. Two years ago their neighbor installed an Eco Cute system that uses heat pump technology to heat water more efficiently and, thus, reduce electricity costs. But ...

Industry divided on government's casino gamble

| Dec 24, 2016

Industry divided on government's casino gamble

In its zeal to ramrod some bills into law before the New Years holiday, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party finally legalized casino gambling, a matter that has been in legislative limbo for a number of years. However, the problems that always prevented the bills ...

Abandoned buildings still house problems

| Dec 3, 2016

Abandoned buildings still house problems

Japan’s vacant house problem will become worse before it becomes better. According to government estimates there are 8 million residences in Japan with no one living in them, a number that Bloomberg reports will increase to 20 million by 2033, representing a third of ...

Earthquake standards are on shaky ground

| Nov 5, 2016

Earthquake standards are on shaky ground

No one died in the recent earthquake that struck Tottori Prefecture, but the temblor was strong enough to cause extensive damage. Several thousand people are still in evacuation centers, which means it is not safe for them to live in their homes. Most of ...