Japan to block land deals near military bases and border islands

Photo: AP Yoshihide Suga

Japan has initiated a major change in its legislation that will affect major transactions in areas linked to national security. The state will have a tighter grip on deals in border regions and areas associated to military objects as Chinese buyers are mulling large real estate deals, Reuters reported.

The cabinet passed a bill to oversee land deals near defence bases, border islands. The government plans to submit the draft to parliament that requires planned purchases to be reported to the authorities when the land is deemed highly sensitive to national security. Deals in urban areas may be exempt if they affect economic activity, and the regulations will apply regardless of a buyer’s nationality.

“I’m determined to pass the bill during the current session of parliament by any means,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told parliament. The United States already has regulations to review property purchases near US military bases and Britain is looking at one this year. Japanese policymakers are particularly concerned about Chinese acquisitions, citizens of that country have been buying forests in resort areas, mainly in the northern island of Hokkaido, and one purchase involved land near New Chitose Airport and military facilities in Hokkaido. Registration of property is not a mandatory in Japan and such records are incomplete, making it hard to find landowners’ information. Experts say security needs to be considered alongside free market principles.

“It requires a balance between how much the government can watch the private sector’s land deals while securing private rights,” said Nobukatsu Kanehara, professor at Doshisha University told Reuters.

Similar articles

  • UK tourists to get Covid-19 tests packages

    UK tourists to get Covid-19 tests packages

    With summer season at the doorstep a number of tourist companies have developed Covid-19 programmes, BBC reported. The companies in UK offer options to receive PCR tests at subsidized or even zero price. Most European countries still have a number of travel restrictions including required PCR tests on return from risky destinations. In some countries the tests are required even for vaccinated travelers. The price of tests weights down on the price of tourists packages.

  • US seeks European allies to curb Chinese investments

    US seeks European allies to curb Chinese investments

    The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that not all doors for Chinese capital and investment flows to the United States and Europe should be left open. US will further seek European backing to reduce the influence of China in key sectors related to hi-tech and defense. Blinked confirmed that the West had to be very careful about the exact nature of Chinese investment in Western economies and think very carefully about investments in strategic assets.