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Fuji Clouds
Investors/Business

Property Markets Work Better When the Line Doesn’t Always Go Up

Japan’s housing sector has been flat for years. But if dwellings are plentiful and attainable, why should that be a bad thing? These days, when Japan’s property market makes the headlines at all, it’s usually for the wrong reasons: The millions of homes sitting empty across the country, perhaps, or the notoriously poor investment that buying a house can prove. But look at it from the perspective of housing as a roof over people’s heads rather than a store of a value, and Japan starts to look like a success. Even in these post-Covid times, the country faces no affordability crisis. Rents are stable — one key reason that inflation is so comparatively low — and housing can be found for almost any budget.

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In Between Street 1
General

Japan lives at the bleeding edge of good enough

With growth slowing, demographics depressed and the trade balance in deep deficit, Tokyo wants to incubate startups and put more state money into cutting-edge sectors like semiconductors and next-generation telecommunications. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says he will put innovation and scientific research at the “centre” of his policy push. Perhaps it shouldn’t be.

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Rice Paddies
General

Vacant Homes and High-Rise Condos: Japan’s Housing Dilemma

Japan’s housing market is out of line with the country’s demographic reality. Annual births have fallen from 1.19 million in 2000 to an all-time low of 810,000 in 2021, with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing the figure below even government predictions. At the same time, high-rise condominiums are going up one after another in cities, and land, including agricultural plots, in suburbs and regional municipalities is steadily being converted to residential lots. What is behind this state of affairs?

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City at Night
General

Japan asks households, companies to conserve electricity during winter

Japan said on Tuesday it will ask households and companies across the country to conserve electricity within “a reasonable range” during the peak winter demand season to alleviate a possible power crunch in the world’s third largest economy. Japan’s power supply has been tight in recent years as nuclear power plants have been slow to restart after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

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Ginza Coke
Investors/Business

Japan’s Existing Office Buildings Get Filled in 2022

With corporations becoming increasingly cost-conscious, vacancies in some of the existing buildings, which offer better value for money with respect to location or grade, are being taken up faster than those in newer properties. All-Grade rents slid by 0.4% from the previous quarter, with rents continuing to be lowered in larger properties which are set to face stiff competition from the significant new supply slated for 2023.

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Skyscrapers from Below
General

Japan’s stimulus plan must exceed $100 billion, says ruling party executive

Japan’s promised economic stimulus must be big enough to exceed the economy’s output gap of about 15 trillion yen ($100 billion), a senior ruling party official said on Sunday. The remarks add to growing calls among ruling party officials for hefty spending to ease the strain from rising inflation on households. On monetary policy, Shindo said while the Bank of Japan must eventually exit ultra-easy policy, doing so now would be premature as Japan’s economy and wage growth remain weak.

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