Why are so many houses sitting empty in Japan?
stuff.co.nz -- May 07
More than one in 10 houses in Japan don't have anyone living in them, according to a recent survey released by the country's central government.

That means 8.46 million homes are sitting completely vacant right now, up 260,000 from the previous survey just five years ago.

These empty houses are either intended for rental or sale in the future, or they've simply been abandoned with no plans for use. According to the survey, the abandoned homes number 3.47 million, or 13.6 per cent of the nation's total houses. That number is up 9.7 per cent since 2013.

Interestingly, the survey counts holiday homes as vacant housing, which explains why popular tourist destinations have such high rates of vacancy. For instance, the Yamanashi Prefecture, which includes the north of Mount Fuji, sits at 21.3 per cent vacant, while the Nagano Prefecture, which was the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics, sits at 19.5 per cent vacant.

There are several factors contributing to the proliferation of these "ghost houses", but one of the biggest is Japan's recent housing boom. According to the survey, about 950,000 new residences began construction in 2018, up 0.7 per cent from 2017.

This becomes a particularly tricky problem when combined with the massive decline in the country's population. According to government figures, only 921,000 babies were born in Japan in 2018, down 25,000 from the previous year. This also marks the third year running that the figure has been below one million.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths in 2018 was 1.37 million, making the total natural population decline 448,000 for the year. As these figures suggest, Japan's population is ageing at a rapid pace.

News source: stuff.co.nz
Jul 09
Struggling businesses and other clients have left Japanese banks with record outstanding loans for a third straight month. (NHK)
Jul 09
Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan Motor Co chairman, wired $862,500 last year to a company managed by one of the two men who later helped him escape from Japan, U.S. prosecutors said in a Tuesday court filing. (Japan Today)
Jul 08
Torrential rains in southwestern Japan forced more plants to close Tuesday as floodwaters poured into factories, knocked out power and threatened to cover roads. (Nikkei)
Jul 08
Japan's labor ministry says over 32,000 workers have been discharged by their employers or faced contract nonrenewal amid the coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)
Jul 08
Whenever people want to sell their car for any reason, they wish to go through the process of selling as smoothly as possible. During this marketing process of their car, people make common mistakes again and again that costs them in the low-profit margin. Enlisted below are 5 common mistakes done by the people in selling their vehicle. (newsonjapan.com)
Jul 07
Japanese automakers are moving beyond the plant shutdowns stemming from the coronavirus. They've brought most of their overseas facilities back online as they gear up for recovering demand. (NHK)
Jul 05
Panasonic is leaving the cash register business within the fiscal year ending March 2021, Nikkei has learned. (Nikkei)
Jul 05
A long-time plan to develop Tokyo as a major international financial center is getting a new twist -- prompting skeptics to reassess their views. (Nikkei)
Jul 04
Business sentiment improved for the first time in nine months in June, thanks to the resumption of economic activity nationwide, credit research company Teikoku Databank Ltd. said Friday. (Japan Times)
Jul 04
A Turkish judge on Friday released pending trial the four pilots and an aviation company manager accused of aiding former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn's escape from criminal custody in Japan. (Nikkei)