Japan plans to establish zones that will simplify procedures for repurposing vacant homes into cafes and lodging facilities in an effort to utilize the growing number of uninhabited properties across the country, according to a draft bill.

Under the bill designed to revise the law on special measures for vacant houses, the government is aiming for municipalities to establish 100 such zones within five years of the law taking effect. The bill will be submitted to the current parliament session.

The changes will also simplify procedures for municipalities to demolish properties at risk of collapse, while vacant houses not adequately maintained will be made ineligible for preferential property tax treatment, encouraging owners to take prompt action.