Chapter 3   Trends in Land Ownership and Land Transactions


Section 1  Trends in Land Ownership

Approximately 85% of the total land area in Japan falls into two categories: "developed land/agricultural land" and "forestry/fields". In FY 2000, 37% was owned by the public sector (28% by the Central Government and 9% by local government); and 63% by the private sector (see Chart 3-1-1).
In this chapter, we discuss trends in land ownership by types of owner.


Chart 3-1-1  Land Ownership ("Developed Land and Agricultural Land" and "Forestry and Fields") by Sector
(unit : 10,000 ha , %)

FY1975 80 85 90 95 99 2000
Public sector ownership 1,102 1,105 1,109 1,112 1,120 1,189 1,191
(33.7) (33.8) (34.0) (34.3) (34.8) (37.1) (37.1)
   By Central Government 900 897 896 895 893 893 893
(27.5) (27.5) (27.5) (27.6) (27.7) (27.8) (27.8)
By local government 202 208 213 217 227 296 298
(6.2) (6.4) (6.5) (6.7) (7.0) (9.2) (9.3)
Private sector ownership 2,170 2,161 2,150 2,133 2,103 2,020 2,017
(66.3) (66.2) (66.0) (65.7) (65.2) (62.9) (62.9)
Total 3,272 3,266 3,259 3,245 3,223 3,209 3,208
(100.0) (100.0) (100.0) (100.0) (100.0) (100.0) (100.0)

Source:Calculated by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport from "Monthly Report of Statistics of Fiscal and Financial Figures" by Ministry of Finance, and "Survey of Current Status of Public Utilities" by Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications
Note1:Total is based on survey by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
Note2:Public sector ownership is calculated from "Monthly Report of Statistics of Fiscal and Financial Figures" and "Survey of Current Status of Public Utilities". Private sector ownership is calculated by deducting areas of public sector ownership from the total.
Note3:Total in this chart excludes areas occupied by streets and roads, which account for approximately 5.71 million ha (14.11 million acres). In 2000, the total area of Japan was 37.79 million ha (93.38 million acres).


1   Land Ownership by the Private Sector

In this sub-section, regions are categorized into "Metropolitan areas", "Urban areas" and "Town and Village"
Metropolitan areas: areas covered by the 23 wards in Tokyo and other Cabinet Ordinance Designated Cities
Urban areas: areas within cities other than the Cabinet Ordinance Designated Cities
Town and village: areas occupied by towns and villages in Japan
(1) Current Status of Land Ownership by Individuals and Corporations
As of 1 January 2001, 85.5% of land owned by the private sector was held by individuals and 14.5% by corporations (see Chart 3-1-2).


Chart 3-1-2  Proportions of Land Ownership by Individuals and Corporations (by Land Use)
(unit : %)
land use 1970 1980 1990 2000 2001
indi-
viduals
corpo-
rations
indi-
viduals
corpo-
rations
indi-
viduals
corpo-
rations
indi-
viduals
corpo-
rations
indi-
viduals
corpo-
rations
Developed land 4.2 1.1 5.8 1.8 6.8 2.1 7.8 2.5 7.9 2.5
Paddy fields and
other cultivated lands
37.8 0.4 36.0 0.8 35.0 0.8 33.5 1.0 33.4 1.0
Forestry and fields 49.0 6.5 45.5 8.1 44.3 8.3 42.8 8.7 42.8 8.7
Others 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.2 1.0 1.7 1.4 2.3 1.4 2.3
Sub-Total 91.4 8.6 88.2 11.8 87.1 12.9 85.5 14.5 85.5 14.5
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source:Calculated by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport from "General Report of Prices of Fixed Assets" Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications
Note1:Proportions are based on land areas exceeding tax exemption
Note2:Stock farms are included in paddy fields and other cultivated lands
Note3:Others includes salt fields, lands of mineral springs and lakes
Note4:Figures are as of 1 January every year


As for the regional situation, in the Metropolitan areas (i.e. the 23 wards in Tokyo and the other Cabinet Ordinance Designated Cities), 28.7% of all such land was owned by corporations. The proportions of land owned by corporations are higher in the Metropolitan areas (see Chart 3-1-3).


Chart 3-1-3  Proportion of Land Ownership by Individuals and Corporations (in 2001)
Chart
Source:Calculated by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport from "General Report of Prices of Fixed Assets" Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications
Note1:Proportions are based on land areas exceeding tax exemption
Note2:Figures are as of 1 January every year
Note3:Metropolitan areas: the areas of 23 wards in Tokyo and the Cabinet Ordinance Designated Cities
Note4:Urban areas: areas within cities other than the Cabinet Ordinance Designated Cities
Note5:Town and village: areas occupied by towns and villages in Japan


(2) Trends in the Number of Landowners
The number of landowners in Japan in 2001 was 37.34 million. By land use, the number of owners of developed land was 31.21 million. Owners of residential land (a sub-category within developed land) comprised 25.21 million. The number of owners of paddy fields and other cultivated lands was 10.16 million, and of forestry and fields 5.44 million (see Chart 3-1-4).

The number of landowners in the Metropolitan areas was 4.71 million. By land use, the number of land owners of developed land amounted to 5.06 million (see Chart 3-1-5).


Chart 3-1-4  Trends in the Number of Landowners by Land Use (in Japan)


1970 1980 1990 2000 2001
number of land owners by land use
   Developed land
(73.7) (27.3) (10.8) (1.1)
1,258.9 2,186.8 2,784.5 3,086.4 3,120.5
   Residential land
(235.6) (30.1) (12.6) (1.4)
505.8 1,697.6 2,208.3 2,487.2 2,520.9
Paddy fields and other cultivated lands
(5.4) (- 1.4) (- 13.6) (- 0.5)
1,136.9 1,198.3 1,181.9 1,021.7 1,016.1
Forestry and fields
(7.8) (4.3) (- 14.6) (- 0.3)
567.4 611.6 637.8 545.0 543.6
Others
(203.6) (48.1) (19.9) (1.2)
55.3 167.9 248.7 298.1 301.7
sub total
(38.0) (16.5) (2.0) (0.6)
3,018.5 4,164.7 4,852.9 4,951.2 4,982.0
Total number of land owners
(number of persons with liability for taxation)

(39.1) (14.9) (10.1) (0.7)
2,106.3 2,930.5 3,367.5 3,708.1 3,733.9

Source:Calculated by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport from "General Report of Prices of Fixed Assets" Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications
Note1:For residential lands, figures of normal residential land for 1970 and 1975, and of small residential land for years on and after 1980 were used.
Note2:Stock farms are included in paddy fields and other cultivated lands. Others includes salt fields, lands of mineral springs and lakes.
Note3:Figures in upper columns are the change ratios indicated in the columns on the left
Note4:"The number of landowners by land use" is the number of owners of land exceeding tax exemptions. When one person holds land categorized under different uses, that person is counted as one person in each land use category. Also when one person holds land in two and more different cities, towns and villages, that person is counted as one person in each land use category in each city, town and village.
"The number of land owners" is the number of persons with liability for taxation of fixed assets of land. When one person holds more than two areas of land under different land use in each city, town and village, the person is counted as one person, but where he holds land in more than two different cities, towns and villages, that person is counted as one person in each city, town and village. Therefore, the actual number of landowners is smaller than "the number of land owners" in this chapter.


Chart 3-1-5  Trends in the Number of Landowners by Land Use (in Metropolitan Area)
(unit : 10,000 persons , %)

1970 1980 1990 2000 2001
number of land owners by land use
   Developed land
(98.8) (22.6) (19.9) (0.6)
172.1 342.2 419.5 502.8 505.7
   Residential land
(162.2) (24.0) (20.7) (0.9)
107.0 280.6 348.0 420.0 423.7
Paddy fields and other cultivated lands
(38.2) (3.7) (- 10.3) (- 2.9)
13.6 18.8 19.5 17.5 17.0
Forestry and fields
(82.3) (- 3.5) (- 13.8) (- 1.1)
6.2 11.3 10.9 9.4 9.3
Others
(544.0) (10.6) (9.6) (0.5)
2.5 16.1 17.8 19.5 19.6
sub total
(99.7) (20.4) (17.4) (0.4)
194.4 388.3 467.7 549.2 551.5
Total number of land owners
(number of persons with liability for taxation)

(78.0) (20.6) (15.3) (0.1)
190.1 338.3 408.1 470.7 471.3

Source:Calculated by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport from "General Report of Prices of Fixed Assets" Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications
Note1:Same as Chart 3-1-4
Note2:Metropolitan area: Area of the 23 wards in Tokyo and the Cabinet Ordinance Designated Cities


2   Land Owned by the Public Sector

(1) Current Status of Land Owned by Central Government
By the end of FY 2000 (end of March 2001), the area of land registered on the Asset Registration Sheet of the Central Government (i.e. land owned by the Central Government) was 8.928 million ha (22.059 million acres), representing 23.6% of total area of Japan (see Chart 3-1-6).

Lands owned by Central Government are categorized into two types: lands owned for the purpose of Central Government administrative activities (Administrative Property) and lands owned for other purposes (Non-Administrative Property).

Of the land categorized as Administrative Property (8.813 million ha, 21.78 million acres), 8.541 million ha (21.10 million acres) are designated as Property for Corporate Use under Special Accounts for Central Government "Administrative Activities for Forestry (see Chart 3-1-7).

Out of the lands owned by Central Government, lands categorized as Non-Administrative Property comprised 114,000 ha (281,700 acres). Currently, most of the land categorized as Non-Administrative Property (88,000 ha, 217,500 acres) belongs to the General Account under the Ministry of Finance.


Chart 3-1-6  Trends in Central Government Assets (Land)
(unit : 10,000 ha)
Fiscal Year end Administrative
Property
Non-
Administrative
Property
Total
1970 883.7 19.8 903.5
1975 884.9 15.1 900.1
1980 884.8 12.6 897.4
1985 884.4 11.6 896.0
1990 883.7 11.2 895.0
1995 882.4 11.2 893.7
1999 881.5 11.3 892.8
2000 881.3 11.4 892.7

Source:"Monthly Report of Statistics of Fiscal and Financial Figures: Special Report about Assets owned by Central Government" by Ministry of Finance


Chart 3-1-7  Current Status of Lands Owned by Central Government (end of FY 2000)
(unit : 10,000 ha , %)
category, kind area proportion to total
Administrative Property 881.3 98.7
   Property for Official Use 26.1 2.9
Property for Public Use 0.7 0.1
Property for Imperial Use 0.2 0.0
Property for Corporate Use 854.2 95.7
Non-Administrative Property 11.4 1.3
Total 892.7 100.0

Source:"Monthly Report of Statistics of Fiscal and Financial Figures: Special Report about Assets owned by Central Government" by Ministry of Finance
Note1:Areas of land categorized as Property for Public Use include parks and open spaces, but exclude other public purposes such as roads, rivers and beaches.
Note2:Area figures are rounded to omit fractions. Therefore, the total figures in each column and the areas in the charts do not necessary correlate.


(2) Current Status of Land Owned by Local Government
As at the end of FY 2000 (end of March 2001), land owned by local government (including land owned by the Foundation of Land Development (tochi-kaihatsu-kikin) etc) totaled 2.979 million ha (7.361 million acres), of which 1.031 million ha (2.548 million acres) was owned by prefecture governments and 1.948 million ha (4.814 million acres) was owned by city, town and village governments, representing 7.9% of total area of Japan (2.7% by the land owned by prefecture governments and 5.2% by the land owned by city, town and village governments) (see Chart 3-1-8).

In relation to asset types, 27.3% of land owned by local governments is categorized as Administrative Property; 70.9% as Non-Administrative Property; and 1.9% is owned by Foundations (see Chart 3-1-9).


Chart 3-1-8  Trends in Land Owned by Local Government
(unit : 10,000 ha)
FY end



Category
70 75 80
prefecture
government
city, town
and
village
government
total prefecture
government
city, town
and
village
government
total prefecture
government
city, town
and
village
government
total
Adminis-
trative
Property
25.3 26.0 51.3 27.5 27.2 54.7 28.8 33.2 62.1
Non-Adminis-
trative
Property
5.7 134.7 140.4 5.7 136.5 142.2 5.9 139.6 145.6
Foundation 0.9 3.5 4.4 1.0 3.8 4.8 0.8 4.1 5.0
Total 31.9 164.2 196.1 34.2 167.5 201.7 35.5 176.9 212.8

FY end



Category
85 90 95
prefecture
government
city, town
and
village
government
total prefecture
government
city, town
and
village
government
total prefecture
government
city, town
and
village
government
total
Adminis-
trative
Property
29.9 32.8 62.7 30.8 37.1 67.9 32.5 42.9 75.4
Non-Adminis-
trative
Property
6.1 138.8 144.9 5.7 138.5 144.2 6.4 139.4 145.7
Foundation 1.1 4.2 5.3 1.1 4.2 5.3 0.9 4.6 5.5
Total 37.1 175.8 212.9 37.6 179.8 217.4 39.8 186.8 226.7

FY end



Category
99 2000
prefecture
government
city, town
and
village
government
total prefecture
government
city, town
and
village
government
total
Adminis-
trative
Property
34.3 45.9 80.3 34.5 46.8 81.3
Non-Adminis-
trative
Property
67.7 142.6 210.4 67.7 143.3 211.1
Foundation 0.9 4.5 5.5 0.9 4.6 5.5
Total 102.9 193.2 296.2 103.1 194.8 297.9


Source:Calculated by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport from "Survey of Public Facilities" conducted by Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications
Note:Land for streets, bridges, rivers, seashore, port and harbor, and ports for fisheries is not included.


Chart 3-1-9  Current Status of Land Owned by Local Government (end of FY 2000)
(unit : 10,000 ha)
ownership

category
Prefecture City, Town and Village Total
area proportion area proportion area proportion
Administrative Property 34.5 33.4 46.8 24.0 81.3 27.3
Non-Administrative Property 67.7 65.7 143.3 73.6 211.1 70.8
Foundation 0.9 0.9 4.6 2.4 5.5 1.9
Total 103.1 100.0 194.8 100.0 297.9 100.0

Source:Calculated by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport from "Survey of Public Facilities" conducted by Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications


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