Blog Archives

The 2025 Problem and Environmental Aspects

Getting Disaster Coverage

Tsunami and earthquake damage can be both covered by insurance. As I mentioned before, though, you need to do some comparison shopping. Insurance agents will typically just sell one-size-fits-all packages that won’t necessarily cover your property in all the right ways.


Obviously if you customize your coverage your insurance premiums will be more expensive, so you may have to compromise somewhere. My recommendation is to talk to at least one specialist who can recommend special clauses related to earthquakes, tsunami and other potential risks specific to the property you’re going to buy. (I cover this in one of my blog entries,


To Be Continued




Environmental Concerns

As the whole world knows, Japan suffered from a huge earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in the Tohoku region in 2011. You might be worried about the risks such events present. (My coauthor, Masatoyo Ogasawara, covers earthquakes and fire in chapter eight.)


The damage wasn’t restricted to that region, either. Despite the considerable distance between the two areas, the 2011 quake ruptured a major water pipeline in Chiba Prefecture, and people in the Maihama area close to Tokyo Disneyland had no water for a month or so. Water also flooded roads there and damaged cars. When the market saw the situation, property prices in the Maihama area dropped dramatically.



Land pollution is another threat most property buyers Japan are only peripherally aware of. When I bought my building in Chiba, for example, I never checked pollution levels, and fortunately it’s never been an issue. The country does not have very strict laws and regulations about land pollution, however, and unfortunately some places are polluted.


To Be Continued


Bright Spots Despite a Downsizing Trend

By the year 2025, the double punch of Japan’s aging and shrinking population will be a true threat to the economy. The swelling legions of the elderly will seriously strain the social security and healthcare systems.


The lack of younger citizens is also creating a shortage of labor. Fortunately, corporate Japan has a new representative. Hitachi Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi has taken over as chief of the Japan Business Federation, known as Keidanren. Nakanishi promises to tell it like it is to the administration and ruling parties. Keidanren and other business organizations are insisting that things need to be loosened up on employment.


In response, the Japanese government indicated in mid-2018 that over the next seven years it intends to let in more than 500,000 foreign workers as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new economic policy. The workers will be permitted to stay for five years to take jobs in five industries—agriculture, nursing, shipbuilding, construction and lodging. (Note the latter.)


Prospective immigrants will have to pass a Japanese-language competency test and one for the field they’ll be working in as well. If they go through the country’s foreign trainee program, five years will be added to their stay. However, reflecting Japan’s still-strong aversion to immigrants, no family members will be allowed to join them.

Over the past decade, by the way, there’s been a surge in the number of foreign employees in Japan, from 480,000 in 2008 to 1.28 million in 2017. Nearly a third of them are from China (29 percent), followed by 19 percent from Vietnam, 12 percent from the Philippines, 9 percent from Brazil and 5 percent from Nepal.


To Be Continued