Google to take interior images of tsunami-hit buildings

Last month Google began to take interior photos of buildings in the Tohoku region that are scheduled to be demolished after suffering damage in last year’s disaster.

Google started in Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture on November 13. They will take 360-degree photos of 32 places across Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures and publish them on Google Maps from December.

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Accommodation shortages creating headaches for businesses in Miyagi and Iwate

The disaster-hit Tohoku region is experiencing a severe shortage in rental accommodation and local real estate companies are hurting.

“Despite inquiries increasing day by day, we have no properties on our books. We have clients in our office but no properties to show them. Our revenues are plummeting.” – President of a property management company in Sendai City.

The months of February and March are typically the busiest and provide the largest revenues for the company, however they currently have no vacant studio apartments and accommodation is severely limited.

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Town in Fukushima demands 19.2 billion Yen in compensation for lost real estate

The town of Futaba, which fell within the exclusion zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant, is demanding 19.2 billion Yen (234 million USD) in compensation from TEPCO for the loss of use of the town’s real estate.

The town is claiming damages for loss of use to town-owned land, government buildings and schools. There are a total of 51 unusable buildings that were mentioned in the claim. A representative from TEPCO said this was the first time they received a real estate related claim from a town or city.

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Six hotels demand compensation from TEPCO

Six hotels in Akita Prefecture are seeking a total of 12.8 million Yen (166,000 USD) in compensation from TEPCO. The hotels claim that the nuclear power plant disaster has led to cancellations from foreign visitors, which has reduced their operating revenue.

The hotels are part of the Akita Prefecture Ryokan Association. The Association submitted the claim for compensation to TEPCO on their behalf. The claim by each hotel ranges from 120,000 to 5,200,000 Yen.

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Tsunami-hit homeowners to receive 80% of former land values

The coastal part of Shinchi Town before and after the March 11 tsunami

The town of Shinchi in Fukushima Prefecture will soon begin the process of buying up land in coastal areas from residents who have been displaced from the March 11 tsunami. This is the first town to announce official plans and set purchase values.

The land will be purchased at 80% of the government assessed land values (koji-chika) that were valued prior to the disaster.

There are five towns and cities along the tsunami-hit coastline, incuding Minamisoma, Soma, Iwaki, Hirano and Shinchi, that plan to relocate residents to higher ground. In Shinchi, 500 homes were fully or partially destroyed by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

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Kagawa Prefecture offers free homes to evacuees

Kagawa Prefecture announced that they are offering free temporary housing for evacuees from the disaster affected areas of Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures. The offer applies to properties that are listed for less than 60,000 Yen/month, or 90,000 Yen/month for 5-person homes. The maximum lease term is 2 years. The Prefecture will also bear the costs of any necessary moving-out repairs as well as agency fees, with the final costs to be borne by the three affected Prefectures.

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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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Buy-back scheme for tsunami-hit land

The Japanese Government has announced a new buy-back scheme whereby the  residential and farming land along Japan’s tsunami-hit coastline will be bought up by the relevant cities and towns at slightly higher prices.

The purchase price for the land will be calculated by its estimated market value in five years from now. This is based on the government’s 5-year post-quake reconstruction plan which includes restoring all infrastructure to the disaster-hit areas.

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