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asia.nikkei  Japan's abandoned homes increase 80% in 20 years, 1 May
There were 3.85 million abandoned homes across Japan as of October 2023, according to a survey published Tuesday by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, an increase of 360,000 from the previous survey conducted in 2018.
The tally also includes a growing number of apartments and condo units. Over 5.02 million, or 16.7%, of such units were vacant as of October, according to the new survey. Of that number, 846,800 were abandoned—an increase of 8.6% from 2018, or roughly 60% from 20 years prior.
To better deal with the situation, the national government amended a law on condominium management in 2022 so that local authorities can issue advice and warnings to owners of improperly managed units.

Still, "only a few cases have been handled" under this law, a land ministry source said. Housing complexes often have residents of diverse ages and family composition. To facilitate better consensus-building, the Japanese government is working to bolster management associations and lower hurdles for renovations.

mainichi.jp | Japan's regional communities face rough road, many risk extinction, 2 May
A report analyzing the population trends of municipalities nationwide estimated that about 40% of all municipalities in Japan, totaling 744 cities, towns and villages, may face difficulty maintaining their communities due to population decline and risk disappearing in the future.
While the population is declining nationwide, there is an accelerating concentration of people in the Tokyo metropolitan area, defined as Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba. This cannot be ignored, not only for its economic and social impact, but also in terms of regional deterioration and disaster prevention....The main population segment leaving rural regions to the Tokyo metropolitan area is young women. Municipalities that are able to halt this trend noticeably place their focus on supporting child care and housing. The government should have placed more emphasis on strategies to improve women's employment and child care environments.
The concept of "related population," in which people living in Tokyo and other areas are connected with different municipalities, without actually moving there, through events and other means, is also gaining attention. It may be worth considering the introduction of a system which supports rural communities by redirecting a portion of resident taxes.
by Cat on Thu May 2nd, 2024 at 08:49:29 PM EST
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