Nationwide unwanted land donation scheme now in effect

On April 27, the Ministry of Justice enacted a nationwide unwanted land donation system in order to reduce the burden of rural, idle land on heirs. However, there are some strings attached that may limit how effective this system will be at reducing the number of vacant ‘akiya’ properties across Japan.Read more

Abandoned homes in city centers are becoming more common

Akiya, or vacant and dilapidated homes, are becoming a common sight in some of Japan’s largest cities, and it’s not for the reasons you might suspect.

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Shrink-wrapping to solve Japan's vacant home issue

A demolition company based in Tokushima Prefecture has come up with a novel, short-term way to deal with Japan's derelict, vacant homes.

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The problem with trying to buy an abandoned ‘akiya’

The Japanese countryside is dotted with old, rambling shacks and farmhouses that look empty and abandoned. They can even be found in urban settings. You may think it’s a simple process of just pulling the title with the owner’s name on it, giving them a call and offering a few Yen to take the old home off their hands. And voila, you now have a charming fixer-upper of your own?

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Okutama Town launches free house site

One of the free homes

The mountainous town of Okutama, located in the distant western reach of the Tokyo metropolitan government area, has launched a “0 Yen Vacant House Bank” on the town's homepage to help owners dispose of their empty and idle homes.

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100-yr old post office listed for sale for 1 million Yen

A former post office in Kagoshima Prefecture has drawn a lot of buzz online for its charming appearance and low price, with buyer inspections already fully booked for the rest of July.

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Setagaya has the largest number of akiya (empty homes) in Japan

On a city/town/district level, Setagaya ward in Tokyo has the highest number of empty homes, or akiya, in Japan. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, there were an estimated 49,070 empty homes in Setagaya as of a 2018 survey, representing 10.4% of total housing stock. Neighboring Ota ward was in second place nationwide with 48,080 empty homes, and a 14.8% vacant house ratio.

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The difficulty in selling a house with 1,000+ owners

With over 1000 owners, some heirs to a traditional townhouse in Kyoto have found themselves unable to sell.

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Japan's vacant house ratio reaches 13.6%

On April 26, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications released their housing and land data as of October 2018. This survey is carried out once every five years. According to the report, the nationwide residential vacancy rate was 13.6%, a 0.1 point increase from 2013. The total number of vacant homes across Japan reached 8,460,000, an increase of 260,000 homes over the past 5 years. 

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Government approves new law to deal with abandoned land issue

On June 6 Japan's House of Councilors approved a new act concerning the use of abandoned land. The new law will go into effect from June 2019.

This law will grant local municipalities, private corporations and non-profits the right to use idle land for up to 10 years. This applies to land where the owners are unknown or cannot be contacted. If the owners make themselves known and object to the use of their land, the land will be returned to them at the end of the 10 year term. If the owners do not object, the term may be renewed.Read more