• Kyodo News

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Land prices had dropped in 99 percent of 150 selected areas in major cities as of Jan. 1, reflecting the deepening recession, a quarterly government survey showed Tuesday.

The proportion of areas with falling land prices exceeded the 85 percent logged in the October survey, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry said.

The figure suggests the global economic downturn rooted in the collapse of the U.S. housing market and the collapse of U.S. securities house Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. sent land prices diving, observers said.

Prices fell more than 3 percent in 105 of the areas, accounting for 77 percent of the total and up sharply from 33 percent in the previous survey, the ministry said.

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