Tag - home-truths

 
 

HOME TRUTHS

Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Apr 1, 2018
New minpaku law will alter Japan's rental and hospitality landscape
A new law will go into effect in June to regulate minpaku, private residences rented out by their owners as short-term lodgings. To most, the new law will address changes that have occurred in recent years due to the rise of Airbnb, the worldwide online service that allows travelers to book rooms in private homes directly from the owners of those residences.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Mar 4, 2018
Doling out some truths about Japan's 'share houses'
Many Japanese people are wary of investment as a means of growing their savings. There are a variety of reasons for this caution, so most keep their money in a bank, gaining almost no interest in the process, in the hope that they won't lose any in the long run. However, some salaried workers who understand that their state pensions won't be enough to live off of when they retire do invest money in real estate, despite the fact that Japanese real estate has seen limited growth ever since the inflated asset bubble burst in the early 1990s.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Feb 11, 2018
Condo management is in need of repairs
On Dec. 18, the Supreme Court's petit bench ruled against a man from Fukuoka Prefecture who was suing the management association (kanri kumiai) of his condominium for firing him as its president of the board (rijicho) because the regulations of the association contained no stipulations for dismissal.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Dec 31, 2017
Lessons about Japan's school catchment areas
A neighbor recently asked us to sign a petition requesting that the local education committee keep a certain elementary school open. Due to falling enrollment, students who attended the school would be transferred to a different one in the near future.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Dec 3, 2017
Can a death kill property value?
The apartment in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, where police found the remains of nine bodies in late October is one of 12 units in a two-story wooden apartment building located 10 minutes from Sobudai Station on the Odakyu Odawara line. Each unit consists of one room and a kitchen and, according to various media, rents for about ¥20,000 a month. The suspect in the murder case moved into the apartment in August, even though he didn't have a job at the time.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Nov 5, 2017
A gut feeling that you need an extra toilet
Everybody knows that Japan produces the most technologically advanced toilets in the world. They pretty much do everything except pull up your pants when you're finished. And one of the more pleasant surprises greeting foreign visitors to Japan is the ubiquity and accessibility of public toilets.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Oct 1, 2017
Re-registering property: The lie of the land
According to an article that appeared in the Asahi Shimbun last June, authorities are unsure of the title holders to 4.1 million hectares of land in Japan — in total, an area equivalent in size to the island of Kyushu. Though this problem has been evident at least since the 1980s, the government didn't do anything about it until a few years ago when it appointed a group of scholars to study the matter. The group's results were announced on June 26.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Sep 3, 2017
The hot topic of high-rise fire prevention
The fire that killed at least 80 people in London's Grenfell Tower in June, as well as similar apartment building blazes that recently occured in Dubai and Hawaii, has brought the world's attention to the issue of safety in high-rise residences.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Aug 6, 2017
Reviving Japan's old shopping arcades
As everyone knows, Japan has an unmanageable surplus of vacant housing. According to the latest government surveys there are more than 8 million unoccupied houses and apartment units in Japan and that number will increase to the point where one in four or five residences will be empty by 2030.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Jul 2, 2017
New law to guarantee the guarantor pays
Until the postwar growth period, the majority of Japanese rented rather than owned the places where they lived, but renters in Japan have never had much in the way of rights. Still, it is difficult to evict someone from a home they rent, even when they've been delinquent with payments. The Leased Land and House Lease Act essentially requires a landlord to go to court to carry out an eviction, which can be costly in both time and money, even when a tenant is clearly at fault.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Jun 4, 2017
Parking the car can drive you crazy
In the 1990s when we rented an old house in Saitama Prefecture, we needed a parking space since we had a car at the time. There was none on the property and so we talked the landlord into tearing down a decrepit prefabricated storage shed that stood next to the house. He did, and then, at our own expense, we had a carport erected on the newly vacant lot.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Apr 30, 2017
Safety Net Law to offer new lease on life for abandoned buildings
On April 19, the Lower House of the Diet unanimously passed a revision to the Safety Net Law. The revision creates a new system that will register vacant properties with local governments and, ideally, these properties will be renovated and then rented out to low-income individuals and families who are otherwise unable to access public housing, which is currently at a premium in Japan, especially in large cities.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Apr 2, 2017
Temporary disaster housing has an unforeseen permanence
The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake left 110,000 people in three prefectures without shelter. Most of these people moved into emergency evacuation centers while the authorities prepared temporary housing for them.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Mar 4, 2017
Will we ever see no obstacles in our way?
Infrastructure in Japan is up to world standards in most areas, and in terms of public transportation it often surpasses those standards — but there's one field it falls way behind: utility poles and overhead cables that carry electrical power and telecommunications.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Feb 4, 2017
New housing options get smaller in the city
Last month this column discussed how lack of city planning in the suburbs had led to an over-supply of new housing that exacerbated the well-publicized vacant-home problem. It should be noted, however, that populations in suburbs throughout Japan are declining — some slowly, others rather rapidly.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Dec 31, 2016
Getting too cozy to the next-door neighbors
In its Dec. 20 issue, Asahi Shimbun reported on a couple in their 60s living in Saitama City. Two years ago their neighbor installed an Eco Cute system that uses heat pump technology to heat water more efficiently and, thus, reduce electricity costs. But since the system was installed, the older couple's health has been deteriorating, mainly due to loss of sleep. Eco Cute operates only at night, when electricity costs are low, and the couple claims that their neighbor's unit emits a low frequency hum, which keeps them awake. They sued the neighbor and the manufacturer of the Eco Cute unit.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Dec 3, 2016
Abandoned buildings still house problems
Japan's vacant house problem will become worse before it becomes better. According to government estimates there are 8 million residences in Japan with no one living in them, a number that Bloomberg reports will increase to 20 million by 2033, representing a third of all the homes in Japan. A good portion of these residences are abandoned. There are no plans for anyone to live in them ever again, a prospect that alarms the central government, as it should. Abandoned homes are firetraps. Often they are filled with garbage that breeds vermin and surrounded by overgrown vegetation. Unmaintained sewage systems and septic tanks can spread disease. They are eyesores that diminish surrounding property values.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Nov 5, 2016
Earthquake standards are on shaky ground
No one died in the recent earthquake that struck Tottori Prefecture, but the temblor was strong enough to cause extensive damage. Several thousand people are still in evacuation centers, which means it is not safe for them to live in their homes. Most of these houses were probably built before the latest building standards were put in place to minimize damage caused by large quakes, but what most people don't know is that these standards are not uniform throughout Japan.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle / HOME TRUTHS
Oct 1, 2016
Tokyo faces declining condominium prices
In Japan's housing market, there has always been one verity: Certain parts of Tokyo will always be popular and, therefore, profitable for developers. However, according to various media reports, that verity may have collapsed, at least when it comes to new condominiums.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / HOME TRUTHS
Sep 3, 2016
For elderly residents, city life doesn't get old
The government in Japan is facing an immediate demographic crisis with regards to seniors, whose numbers relative to the general population are increasing rapidly. One of the main problems is where they are going to live out their lives.

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves