Japan's population decline creates "housing glut"

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With all of these open houses what happens to the aged out of employability park shack homeless?

Sounds like a problem of their own design.


I visit Japan about once a year and absolutely love it. I’d move there in a heartbeat. But they make it very tough to get an immigration visa. Once you do have one, you’ll still be treated as a second class citizen. Doesn’t matter if you have a full-time job(good luck getting a decent one) and pay your taxes, you’ll still be denied many of the rights of natural born Japanese.

They are happy and smiling when taking your tourism dollars though.


Japan is on my travel bucket list, but I’ve always been afraid it’s too expensive for me. What’s a realistic estimation of the cost of travel there?

Aside from the ‘but how will Respect For Property flourish?’ objections, I imagine that many of the homeless would be in really really dire shape if they were moved to a ‘marginal village’ environment. Once you take the houses that are of interest to urban potential-commuters out of the equation, you are largely left with the ones that are really out in the sticks.

As much as cities do their best to be hostile, they still retain the advantage of being near all the things(because they contain most of them); and have the most ambient activity for people to try to live off. Rural environments can be self supporting; but only if you know what you are doing and are set up for some agriculture. If you are not, and especially if you lack transportation, you are mostly just isolated. Were I actually involved in planning this I’d obviously want to ask them rather than speculating; but I suspect that you might actually have to really twist some arms to get people to agree to a country relocation. You can afford a much nicer house out there; but most other necessities are going to be more difficult to come by out in the low density zones.


If there were some other country full of attractively priced and youthful Japanese potential-workers I’m sure that they’d give immigration some serious consideration as a strategy. Until then, robots.


[quote=“Old, post:5, topic:62064, full:true”]
Japan is on my travel bucket list, but I’ve always been afraid it’s too expensive for me. What’s a realistic estimation of the cost of travel there?[/quote]
Well, one anecdote is not good data, but… When I was there last year, I spent approximately 1.5 times what I’d spent for an equivalent time in London. Routine expenses (hotels, food, train, taxi, and bicycle transportation but no rental car) came to roughly US$ 1850/week, excluding airfare. That’s for mid-level western-style hotels in the cities, ryokan outside the cities, mostly Japanese food. Traveling in the countryside can be surprisingly expensive but loads of fun. If you do your research and budget carefully you could probably cut that down by a third to half. If you want to stay and eat western style you could easily double that.

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I got two weeks for 1200€, not including airfare.

Stay away from taxis. Purchase a Japan Railway Pass, travel only by train, travel all the time by train. Hotels are a place to sleep, shower and store your baggages, you can get pretty cheap rooms in touristic places if you stay away from hotel chains. Use youth hostels! Eat on small restaurants and bars where you see other Japanese people eating, food is way cheaper than Europe if you eat only local. Fast food joints all display their prices with photos. Stay away from steaks and pizza, they are expensive as hell. Eat ramen, delicious homemade ramen with true bonito broth. ASK THE LOCALS, they will try to answer you in a terrible broken English, but once you start to understand it´s all OK.


I lived there in the early 90s and I don’t think their attitude to foreigners has changed, people of Korean descent who may have been in Japan for generations are still regarded as foreigners and have to carry special id cards with fingerprints, are not allowed to take Japanese names and can be deported. (At least this is what I recall).
A lot of menial type jobs done by foreigners such as Iranians etc.
At the time it was handy to come over on a working holiday visa which Canada the UK and Australia and New Zealand has with Japan though there are very specific requirements. Ie you need a return air ticket, $3500? cash, and be 30 and under.


Hasn’t one of the problems in Japan traditionally been horrifically expensive housing? Is most of the housing being freed up in extremely undesirable locations (within spittin’ distance of Fukushima, for example)? Considering current trends in ‘green’ living, i’m surprised no one is snapping up the rural houses, installing solar and satellite dishes, and profiting.

It’s a strange feature of our society that we see a decrease in housing costs as a bad thing.

Once again, Japan shows us a version of the future. And it’s it’s one of the few liveable ones. If we want our futures to contain a modern standard of living, we’re going to have to build a society and an economy that is able to cope with falling, ageing populations and falling house prices. Get away from exponential growth curves (except in information) Otherwise, we’re going to have much worse things to worry about.


Apparently in Japan, a house loses all its value after 15-30 years. It’s common to buy a building/plot, and just tear the whole thing down and rebuild.

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I had no idea.

I suppose this is mostly in the single family home, pseudo suburbs area. But still, wow.


I have lived here since the early 90s and things have changed a lot.

Doesn’t matter if you have a full-time job(good luck getting a decent one) and pay your taxes, you’ll still be denied many of the rights of natural born Japanese.

I have not changed my citizenship, so I still have no right to vote and I couldn’t be promoted to a management position if I worked for a government run entity, but otherwise, there’s not a lot of difference. Yes, people often speak to me in English just based on the blue eyes, rather than Japanese. People who naturalize get to vote, run for office, all the rights of a natural born citizen, regardless of skin, hair, eye colour or ethnic origin.

I had a colleague who casually mentioned one day that she also had a “gaijin card”. Turns out her grandparents on one side were displaced Koreans who remained in Japan after the war. Her brothers who were doctors both naturalized (as they worked in national hospitals), but she was keeping the Korean citizenship, “at least while Grandma is alive” to keep the old folks happy.

Kind of to go along with what japhroaig posted, I think it’s created a vicious cycle. Houses hold little value so why make them worth anything…so they are built as cheap as possible. Which from what I remember reading about this means a couple steps below American quality level. Yes they look nice inside and out, but they simply do not hold up 40, 50, or 100 years like an American home would.

So, their overpopulation is getting better, and it’s easy to find a nice place to live.

Sometimes Japan is like that guy who complains that he makes too much money and he just doesn’t what to do with it all and it really stresses him out.

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