Japan's public housing system has a shelf life

| Apr 4, 2015

Japan's public housing system has a shelf life

One of the most desirable properties in Tokyo is Chateau Mita, located in Minato Ward within walking distance of several embassies and Tokyo Tower and less than 10 minutes from four subway stations. The apartment building was constructed in 1964 and by 2000 there ...

Cheap rural homes come at a price

| Mar 6, 2015

Cheap rural homes come at a price

Though the hollowing-out of population in regional areas in Japan has become a major issue for the central government, it’s been a problem for regional governments for more than three decades. Twenty years ago there was a popular promotional method called “I-turn,” devised as ...

Renting comes with guarantors, not guarantees

| Feb 6, 2015

Renting comes with guarantors, not guarantees

According to the most recent census, as of 2010 the population of Japan stood at a little less than 128 million, and if demographic trends continue at the current rate it will be 107 million in 2030 and 97 million in 2050. Despite this ...

Property borders: Where to draw the line

| Jan 2, 2015

Property borders: Where to draw the line

Some years ago we lived in western Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, in a neighborhood that clung to the contours of a hilly terrain. Many of the streets were just dirt and gravel, even though the area was fully developed. Neighbors told us that they had ...

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 ...