Tokyo’s 40-year island dispute edging closer to resolution

In the middle of Tokyo Bay sits a 500 hectare manmade island that has been at the center of an ownership dispute between Tokyo’s Ota and Koto wards since its creation in the 1970s.

On July 18, the Tokyo metropolitan government started mediation between the two wards. On September 29th, Tokyo presented a proposal that would allocate 86% of the island to Koto and 14% to Ota. Opposition from Ota over the split, however, could see the dispute go to court.

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Contractor cites Edo-period land claim in lake landfill dispute

Lake Shinji Matsue 1

A construction contractor in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture, is citing a 200-year old claim to surface rights of Lake Shinji after the government has accused him of illegal legal reclamation. Since 1997, the national government has issued 35 infringement notices to the contractor, ordering him to cease his land reclamation work and return the site to its original condition.

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Kobe Airport land not selling

Blocks of commercial land on the man-made Kobe Airport Island are not selling as well as expected. In 2011, not a single parcel of land was sold.

Construction of the island was financed through the issuance of municipal bonds, and the city planned to repay the bonds by selling off blocks of land to various enterprises.

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Fukuoka’s Island City land not selling

In a similar fashion to Yokohama’s Minato Mirai district, Fukuoka City’s manmade island is also running at a huge loss.

According to the city, the deficit at the time of the project completion was 18 billion Yen (23.4 million USD). In 2009, the city had forecast land sales to result in a 12.5 billion Yen positive balance. However, poor economic conditions meant that land values fell from 13,000 to 10,000 Yen/sqm, plunging the project into the red.

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100 billion Yen redevelopment project for Toyosu area

Mitsui Fudosan will be embarking on a large-scale redevelopment of Koto-ku’s Toyosu area from next year. The 100 billion Yen (1.3 billion USD) project on one of Tokyo Bay’s reclaimed islands will cover a 47,400 sqm site. The project will include two high-rise office buildings (31 and 22 stories) as well as retail facilities. Due to the nature of the site, measures will be taken to strengthen the ground against liquefaction and the building will be built using “seishin” (vibration-control) construction. Completion is scheduled for 2016 and Mitsui Fudosan will be contributing 90 billion Yen in capital.

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Remains of Kanagawa Daiba fort unearthed at apartment construction site

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Remains of the Kanagawa Daiba (battery or fort) were found at an apartment construction site in Kanagawa Ward, Yokohama. The fort was constructed during the time Yokohama opened its port in the mid 1800s. The fort and surrounding bay is now reclaimed land.

On July 26th a 17m long and 2.5m high stone wall which forms the eastern side of the fort was uncovered. Although one part of the wall appeared to have been repaired with concrete prior to the land reclamation, other parts of the wall that were commissioned by Count Katsu Kaishu remain untouched from when it was completed in 1860 during the Man’en era.

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