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HomeBusinessVacant homes in Japan reach record high of 9 million

Vacant homes in Japan reach record high of 9 million

TOKYOMay 01 (News On Japan) – Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced on April 30 that the number of vacant homes nationwide has reached 9 million, setting a new record.

The number of vacant homes is rising steadily, with an increase of 510,000 homes compared to the survey five years ago.

The phenomenon of ‘akiya’, or empty houses, is not new in Japan, but the scale on which it occurs is unprecedented. This increase is attributed to Japan’s aging population and declining birth rate, factors that have led to shrinking household size and a surplus of homes that no longer have residents.

Vacant homes can lead to a host of economic and social problems. Economically, they cause property values ​​to plummet, which not only affects individual owners but also reduces municipal tax revenues, which are critical to local governments. Socially, these vacant properties can lead to neighborhood decline, causing urban blight and reducing residents’ overall quality of life.

Furthermore, these vacant homes are often concentrated in rural areas where population flight to urban centers such as Tokyo and Osaka is more pronounced. This rural depopulation exacerbates the problem, leaving entire neighborhoods abandoned and infrastructure underutilized.

The Japanese government has recognized the severity of the problem and has implemented several measures to address the problem. These include promoting the renovation and repurposing of Akiya into rental housing, encouraging prefectures to purchase and demolish abandoned houses, and providing subsidies for younger generations to move to these areas.

However, these measures face significant obstacles. The costs of renovating old and often dilapidated houses can be prohibitive. Additionally, the bureaucratic process involved in claiming ownership of these properties, many of which have unclear ownership because the heirs are unknown or disinterested, can be daunting.

Source: ANN

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