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Floor space often comes at a premium in Japan, especially in urban centers where land is scarce and property prices are high. That has resulted in tiny homes and apartments cluttering popular neighborhoods in Tokyo and other major cities, occasionally leading to negative stereotyping of the Japanese as workaholics who only come back to their cramped rooms to sleep at the end of a long day.

The pandemic, however, has scrambled the real estate market as quarantines, states of emergencies and self-imposed isolation prompt millions to work from home and rethink their housing priorities.

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