On February 8, the Gunma prefectural governor held a press conference to announce that they are considering introducing regulations to help preserve the forestry and natural water sources in the area.
This follows on from similar movements by other prefectural governments, including Hokkaido and Saitama, who are starting to monitor the purchase of large tracts of forest by foreign buyers.
Under the proposal, prior notification of the sale of forestry-zoned land must be submitted to the prefecture’s forestry management department. Details to be submitted include the buyer’s name, planned use for the land and total land size.
In 2011, a resident of Singapore had purchased 44 hectares of forest in Gunma Prefecture as a means of asset holding, and in 2010, a Singaporean national purchased 10 hectares of forest in Yamagata Prefecture to build a vacation home. The Yamagata Prefectural Government recently began an investigation into the purchase.
Source: The Sankei Shimbun, February 9, 2012.