Tohoku’s traditional homes slowly vanishing

Sendai Minamisanriku kominka
A 309-year old tsunami-hit kominka in Minamisanriku, Miyagi.

Repair bills up to 100 million Yen or more

Yoichi Haryu, 57, owns a 2-storey home and storehouse in Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai City. The buildings date back to the late Meiji ~ early Showa era. The 2011 earthquake caused the beams to twist and bend and the wooden posts to twist and come unstuck.

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Apartment prices skyrocket in Sendai

According to the latest data released by Tokyo Kantei, the average list price of a second-hand apartment in Sendai City in the first quarter of 2013 is 35.5% higher than in early 2011.

Prior to the Tohoku disaster, average apartment prices had dropped to 565,000 Yen per Tsubo* (171,200 Yen/sqm). Following the disaster, prices have since risen to 766,000 Yen per Tsubo (232,100 Yen/sqm).

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Residents move back into ‘completely destroyed’ building

After a year and four months of waiting, residents of “Neo Heights Kuwano” in Fukushima’s Koriyama City have been given the all-clear to move back into their apartments after the building was repaired following serious damage sustained during the Tohoku earthquake last year.

The first four floors of the building suffered damage to their exterior walls and the reinforcing inside the building’s columns had broken. This led the city to declare it as ‘completely destroyed’. As the majority of the apartment doors were jammed and could not be opened, the residents had to move out.

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3480 homes completely destroyed in Kanto area following Tohoku disaster

An investigation by the Tokyo Shimbun has found that as many as 3480 homes in the Kanto area were completely destroyed in the Tohoku disaster. A further 2815 homes were partially destroyed and will need to be demolished. In some areas, the number of partially destroyed homes equalled the number that were completely destroyed.

Homeowners may be eligible to receive a maximum of 3 million Yen as compensation, but high construction costs mean that very few homes are being rebuilt. It has been almost 11 months since the disaster and the full extent of the damage is only now coming to the surface.

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7 Fukushima Golf Courses sue TEPCO for lost revenue

On November 30, 2011, seven of the forty golf clubs that form the Fukushima Prefectural Golf Association filed a claim against TEPCO for damages arising from loss of income.

The clubs have reported a total loss in revenue of 247 million Yen (3.16 million Yen) between March and August, 2011, which they say was directly attributed to the radiation fears from the troubled nuclear power plant.

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100 condominiums in Sendai City need rebuilding

In Sendai City, a condominium that was seriously damaged by the March 11 Tohoku Earthquake is scheduled to be demolished. Sunny Heights Takasago is a 14-storey apartment building with 189 units. The earthquake damaged the foundations and the building began to lean at a dangerous angle, threatening neighboring buildings. Demolition is scheduled to begin by the end of December and should be completed within 6 months. This is the first case in Sendai City of an apartment building of this size being demolished due to the effects of the Tohoku earthquake, but it won’t be the last.

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Mito City Hall at risk of collapse

Mito City Hall in Ibaraki Prefecture was seriously damaged by the March 11 earthquake. Results of a recent earthquake-resistance inspection found that the building could collapse if it is hit by another earthquake with a seismic intensity of 6 or higher.

Should the City decide to repair the building by installing a base-isolation system, the repair costs are estimated to reach 7 billion Yen (91 million USD).

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Danchi reconstruction cancelled due to liquefaction

Reconstruction plans for the Sodegaura Danchi public housing project in Chiba’s Narashino City have been put on hold as the recent liquefaction in the area caused by the March 11 Tohoku earthquake has deterred potential buyers for apartments in the new project.

The Sodegaura Danchi was built in 1967 and has 250 units. It is built on reclaimed land on Tokyo Bay and is a 45 minute drive from central Tokyo. A 3-bedroom apartment in the complex can be rented for as low as 60,000 Yen/month (780 USD).

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