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  6. The Problem of Land with Unclear Ownership:

The Problem of Land with Unclear Ownership:

Pre-Collecting Land Disposal Expenses and the Necessity of Managing Ownership Rights

October 2016

Senior Fellow, Hidetaka Yoneyama


Across Japan, cases of land with unclear ownership are increasing. This paper will discuss how funds for land disposal expenses should be produced when there are existing buildings on a piece of land, mainly concerning residential land with unknown ownership, and will also consider how to overcome the restrictions of ownership rights to promote land usage.

With regard to land disposal expenses, it is often the case that fees cannot be collected due to execution by proxy or simplified execution by proxy, meaning that public funds must be expended, even for land disposal expense support fees. As a breakthrough measure to ensure the owner bears the cost of land disposal expenses, it is conceivable to require them to pay the fee little by little by adding it to the cost of their annual property tax.

Moving to the issue of ownership rights, in the mid-to-long term, it will be necessary to revise laws to prioritize land usage. In the meantime however, a mechanism must be established to separate ownership and land usage, proactively transfer ownership rights to the successive owner, and promote land use.

More Information

  • The full text of this report is not available in English.
    The original Japanese text is here (987 KB).