Japan Govt Adopts Bill to Promote Use of Vacant Houses
Tokyo, March 3 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government adopted at a cabinet meeting Friday a bill to promote the utilization of unoccupied houses.
The bill to revise a related special measures law allows municipal governments to set areas for promoting the use of vacant houses mainly in city centers and tourist spots. In such areas, regulations will be eased to make it easier to change the use of land plots hosting unoccupied houses and rebuild them.
In areas designated exclusively for low-rise housing where the use of land is strictly restricted to ensure a good living environment, for example, vacant houses can be converted to shops such as cafes.
In the areas for vacant house use facilitation, a rule basically banning the construction of buildings along roads with a width of less than 4 meters will be eased, with a special measure to be introduced to allow rebuilding and renovation of vacant houses facing such roads on condition that safety steps are taken.
The bill also includes measures to prevent an increase in empty houses. Among them, a system will be established for municipalities to designate vacant houses that could affect the neighborhood if left unattended as improperly managed properties. Houses for which recommendations for removal or repair have been issued will be excluded from the list of properties eligible for eased fixed asset tax.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]