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June 14, 2021

Amendment to Make Real Property Registration Mandatory “Significant,” Yoshihara Says in Nikkei Asia Article

In the wake of Japan’s asset bubble collapse in the 1990s and the shrinking of its population since 2010, the country’s voluntary property registration system has generated vast swaths of unclaimed land, as the expense and time needed to transfer the title of an inherited property became too much of a hassle for many.

In an article in Nikkei Asia, Research Fellow Shoko Yoshihara called the recent amendment of the Real Property Registration Act “significant,” as it makes inheritance registration mandatory.

“In Japan there has been no strict system to foster inheritance registration, which led to the current problem of land registrations remaining in the name of the deceased for a long period of time,” said Yoshihara, the author of the 2017 book, Land Issues in the Era of Depopulation.

The government must work quickly, though, she added, “to make people aware of the new systems”—a major challenge given the disappearance of many rural governments over the last 20 years as villages with dwindling populations have merged with nearby larger towns.

“As Japan’s Empty Homes Multiply, Its Laws Are Slowly Catching Up,” Nikkei Asia
https://asia.nikkei.com/Life-Arts/Life/As-Japan-s-empty-homes-multiply-its-laws-are-slowly-catching-up

Profile of Research Fellow Shoko Yoshihara
https://www.tkfd.or.jp/en/experts/detail.php?id=7

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