Recent survey on foreign ownership of forestry in Japan

A survey by the Yomiuri Shimbun has found that foreigners hold as much as 1103 hectares (11.03 million sqm) of forestry in Japan. This number, however, is thought to represent just the tip of the iceberg as there are many cases of foreigners buying land and registering it in the name of a Japanese citizen or local company.

The survey was conducted between the end of March and the middle of April. The local governments across Japan’s 47 administrative regions were asked to provide information on the number of transactions, purchase price and total area. Under the National Land Utilization Law, any transactions of land over 1 hectare must be reported to the local government. The aim of this survey was to find out all other non-reported transactions.

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Foreign buyers pipped at the post on land purchases in Hokkaido

Hokkaido Prefecture will be introducing support measures that will provide funding to local cities, towns and villages so that they may purchase tracts of land that foreign investors are planning to buy.

The measures are being introduced in response to growing concern over acquisition of forestry and water sources by foreign investors with unclear motives.

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