The Yodoko Guest House in Ashiya, Hyogo, reopened to the public on February 16 after undergoing two years of intensive repairs and restoration work.
This is the only surviving Wright-designed residence in Japan that has remained in largely original condition. The house has a total floor area of 542 sqm (5,832 sq.ft) and sits on over an acre of land.
The 4-storey, reinforced concrete home was completed in 1924 as a summer residence for sake brewer Tazaemon Yamamura. It sits on a hilltop position in wealthy Ashiya City, with views over Osaka Bay. In 1947 it was sold to Yodogawa Steel Works and used by the company president. In 1989 the company opened it up to the public.
If anyone is curious as to how much it costs to restore a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Japan, it’s somewhere around 330 million Yen (approx. 3 million USD).
Repair work began in October 2016 and took two years. The house required repairs to fix roof leaks, weathering to the exterior Oya stone block details, marble flooring, and repainting.
The house is open to the public. Opening hours and details can be viewed here: https://www.yodoko.co.jp/geihinkan/index_e.html
Source: East Asia Forum
Author: Purnendra Jain, University of Adelaide
In Japan’s forthcoming quadrennial unified local elections there will be 1000 separate elections. More than 230 political heads, such as prefectural governors and city and town mayors, will be elected by direct vote along with some 15,000 prefectural and municipal assembly members. Given the size of the elections across Japan, they will be conducted in two phases on 7 and 21 April 2019.
Tokyo, Japan – Supporters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party wave flags welcoming LDP President and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he makes his final appearance at Tokyos Akihabara on Wednesday, September 19, 2018, on the eve of the party presidential election. LDP lawmakers will cast their ballots in the race, in which Abe vies for the post against the fellow lawmaker Shigeru Ishiba. The winner will be announced Thursday afternoon. 19 September 2018. (Photo: Reuters, Natsuki Sakai/AFLO)
Japan has more than 1750 local bodies consisting of prefectures, cities, towns and villages. Their sizes range from the gigantic Tokyo Metropolitan Government to small villages of a few thousand residents. They are all governed by the Local Autonomy Law. Local bodies are highly dependent on the national government …continue reading
If you currently own property in Japan, you should be receiving your annual property tax bill this month or next. These taxes are owed by anyone who owns real estate in Japan, be it residential, commercial or otherwise. Those living overseas are taxed the same as those living in the country.
Tax bills are usually sent out around April or May each year, depending on the city, and are paid to the city where the property is located.
The tax is broken up into two sections:
The taxable value of the property is not the market value. In many cases it is a lot lower. However, it is tied to changes in property values, so the taxable value may rise if the property market is improving. The amount is adjusted every three years, with the next adjustment due in 2021. Any large jumps in property values are usually offset with a special reduction to reduce any immediate impact on the property owner.
The taxes are usually halved for the first three to five years after the construction of a new home or apartment, so be aware of the potential for your tax bill to increase if you have purchased a new or near-new home.
Before buying property, find out what the most recent tax bill was so you have an idea of what to expect as the next owner.
Paying the tax
You will receive a letter from the city government with the tax payment slips. You can either pay the annual amount in one lump sum, or pay it in four installments. The deadline for the lump sum or first payment is typically in early May. Penalties apply for late payment.
Payment instructions are included with the tax slips. …continue reading
The following is a selection of apartments that were reported to have sold in central Tokyo during the month of March 2019:
Source: East Asia Forum
Author: Yasuko Hassall Kobayashi, ANU
In December 2018 the Japanese parliament approved a new immigration law to bring a slew of foreign workers to Japan from April 2019. Japanese industries that are facing pressing labour shortages can now bring foreign workers through a simpler process than the existing limited trainee scheme. What does this new law aim to achieve and what new conundrum does it pose to both the Japanese government and Japanese society?
Technical trainees from Vietnam work at a knitwear factory in Mitsuke, Japan, 26 February 2019 (Photo: Reuters/Linda Sieg).
Previously, workers were paid to provide labour as ‘training’, with salaries kept at lower rates as they had ‘trainee’ status and were not ‘adequately skilled’ labourers. The official rationale of the trainee scheme is international development aid through providing opportunities for foreign trainees to learn skills and technologies in Japan and then bring their obtained skills and knowledge back to their own countries.
The limited ‘aid’ nature of this scheme became a nuisance as the labour shortage intensified. The visa duration was capped at three years. In response to the exacerbation of the labour shortage, the government extended durations of stay from three years to five years in 2017. But this system was limited to companies on a whitelist. An additional difficulty is that to renew their trainee visas, workers had to first go home after the three years before then returning to Japan.
Finally, …continue reading