• JIJI, Staff Report

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The government is aiming to curb the growing trend of land plots with no identifiable owners by clarifying owners’ responsibilities, with the Cabinet approving a bill to revise the Basic Act for Land at a meeting Tuesday.

The number of plots with undetermined ownership is expected to increase, as demand for land is on the decline due to a decreasing and graying population.

The government hopes to tackle the problem by clearly defining the responsibilities of land owners with respect to the appropriate use and management of land.

It will be the first full-scale amendment of the act since its enactment in 1989.

The revised law would oblige land owners to better manage and use their land by verifying the registration and defining the boundaries of their land.

Owners of inadequately managed plots could have their property rights restricted in order to protect the local living environment, according to the bill.

Details of how the rights will be restricted will be determined by separate laws.

The government also decided to establish a basic policy to define land policy efforts as a whole.

The issue of land with uncertain ownership has emerged partly due to a failure by some people to make it clear who will inherit the land.

Land with unknown owners can lead to the deterioration of the surrounding environment and hinder public development projects.

The amendment is part of the government’s wider plan to deal with the issue by reforming the country’s land ownership system by the end of this year. The Legislative Council, which advises the justice minister, is currently considering related items, such as making land inheritance registrations obligatory.

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