"‘Ghost Houses’ Haunt a Rapidly Aging Japan" Discussion Thread

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Why can’t the towns demolish or sell them? seems like a really important bunch of facts are missing.

10 minutes at google and this article was just poorly researched:

From: What will Japan do with all of its empty ‘ghost’ homes? - BBC Worklife
Although a growing number of vacant properties are being listed on akiya banks, authorities generally haven’t been able to enforce renovation or demolish many of them without being able to identify owners from whom to get permission.

You know what generally works. Actually researching an article so that it doesn’t have glaring gaps in simple facts as to the 5 Ws.

I wonder why the authorities don’t implement a tax similar to cities like London or Vancouver on non-occupied homes? Seems like a very easy solution.

I think the numbers cited are a little wonky
“Put another way: By 2040, the total size of abandoned properties in Japan is estimated to equal the land size of Austria”
land mass of Austria ~ 84,000 sq. kms land mass of Japan ~ 378,000 sq. kms
of which ~126,000 is habitable see The Ecological Footprints of Tokyo
so by 2040 66% of habitable land in Japan will be ‘ghost’ status ? Don’t think so.

Small tangent, but most of those houses look like they are rusting. Are older Japanese homes made from steel siding?