No. 2 — January 19, 1996

Feature Article


Atsushi Yamakoshi

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Due to a rapid increase in real estate prices during the "bubble economy" years of the late 1980s Japan experienced a range of serious problems. It now faces new problems caused by a gradual but continuing drop in property prices. The people as well as the companies that rushed to buy land in the hopes of big capital gains now cannot sell the property without taking a loss. Potential buyers have no incentive to buy now because most analysts expect prices to drop further. In this situation of few sellers and even fewer buyers uncertainty reigns as people wonder how much more prices will go down.

An increase in property transactions responding to market signals is considered an essential solution to the problems of the real estate industry and, by extension, the economy. However, Japanese buyers and sellers may not feel comfortable about relying on market mechanisms. Some see the hand of the government behind the economic situation that encouraged rampant land speculation in the late 1980s, and they want Tokyo to intervene in the market rather than just allow market forces to have free rein. The government, in turn, is worried that a market operating without restraints might undermine the stability of Japan's financial system, which is weighted down by bad loans caused in large part by the drop in real estate prices.

Japan's property-related tax system is a particular subject of debate in the current environment. Businesses, in particular, argue that the land-value tax introduced in January 1992 to curb speculation should be abolished since real estate prices have decreased. Others argue that the tax should be left on the books to encourage more efficient land use. Another tax-related proposal is based on the idea that the market price of land often is lower than the valuation used for tax purposes, such as, inheritance taxes. In this view some adjustment appears necessary from the taxpayers' perspective; however, the Ministry of Finance is unlikely to endorse this idea because of its impact on revenues, which continue to sag along with the economy.

Given that changes in property prices transfer income, at least on paper, between owners and nonowners, political and bureaucratic decisionmakers have an additional factor to weigh in deciding how the government should address the real estate market's problems. This impact plus the repercussions for the financial system and the broader economy of any initiatives suggest that the government confronts hard choices as it attempts to craft a plan to deal with the fallout from one of the most symptomatic excesses of Japan's bubble economy.


Dropping Land Prices In Historical Context

Real estate prices, which skyrocketed during the "bubble economy" period of the late 1980s, started to drop in 1990 in the Tokyo and Osaka areas. Those declines moderated from the frequently double-digit annual rates registered initially, but the downward trend extended into 1995 (see Table 1). Indeed, a quarterly survey of land prices in Tokyo's commercial and residential districts indicated that prices still were falling last July (see Table 2). As a result, the government's so-called standard land price for Tokyo was at just 40 percent of its peak value and had returned to its 1985 level, according to an estimate reported in a late August 1995 issue of Shukan Toyo Keizai. The article also disclosed that office rents, which had been stable, tumbled 20 percent between the end of 1994 and mid-1995 and that less than 60 percent of the condominiums on the market were under contract.1 Table 3 suggests the boom-and-bust cycle that has occurred in the Tokyo real estate market.

Some historians have likened current conditions in Japan's property market to the situation that triggered a depression in the early Showa period. Hidetaka Yoneyama, a chief researcher at Fuji Research Institute, is among those who have found disturbing similarities.2 Japan during World War I had increased its exports, taking advantage of a supply shortage among Western industrialized countries involved in the war. As a result, Japan recorded a trade surplus from June 1915 to December 1917 and became a creditor nation. In the postwar economic boom an increased money supply and low interest rates caused speculative investments in stocks and commodities, pushing up theirprices. In 1920 monetary policy was tightened in an attempt to end the price run-up. Stocks subsequently were dumped, which led to falling prices for both commodities and land. Companies suffered from hidden losses, and at least one run on a bank took place. Both the government and the Bank of Japan initially dismissed this situation as a postboom adjustment. Eventually, though, policy measures were introduced, including rescue funds for threatened banks. This action calmed depositors' panic but delayed restructuring by companies. After a slight economic recovery between 1921 and 1922 the Great Kanto Earthquake hit in 1923, tremendously damaging Tokyo and, in turn, the Japanese economy. The mishandling of earthquake funds in 1927 triggered another bank run and a major financial panic. Fiscal restraints imposed by the government at this time, intended to prepare for the introduction of the gold standard, unfortunately were followed by a massive worldwide depression. Mr. Yoneyama sees in this history a parallel with current conditions. In particular, he emphasizes that the delay in solving the problems related to the 1920 financial panic caused a repetition on a larger scale in 1927, followed by the Showa depression.


Causes Of Falling Land Prices

Policy Elements - The surge in real estate prices during the bubble economy of the late 1980s not only made it difficult for people to buy houses but exacerbated feelings of economic and social inequity concerning asset ownership. It also erected obstacles to building social infrastructure of various types. Lowering property prices, therefore, became a political priority — a status cemented by the identification of land policies as one of the six Japanese targets of the 1989-90 Structural Impediments Initiative launched by Washington and Tokyo (see JEI Report No. 26B, July 6, 1990). Various policy measures, including the enactment of a basic land law to clarify land uses, were adopted.

Speculative real estate activities already were a concern by August 1987 when the government introduced a property price monitoring system (see JEI Report No. 14B, April 6, 1990). Even small-scale transactions in areas with escalating prices were subject to surveillance. Anyone wanting to buy real estate in targeted areas was subject to more extensive filing requirements. The following month the government introduced a tax on capital gains on short-term land transactions. In the fall of 1987 the Ministry of Finance began to pressure financial institutions to tighten their lending requirements for real estate transactions.

In part because of these policy measures, property prices in the Tokyo area declined slightly in 1988, but prices in the Osaka and Nagoya areas continued to climb. These contrary developments prompted officials to draft an overall land policy; the basic land law was established in December 1989. By January 1991 the cabinet had proposed another framework for land policy, which included the introduction of a land-value tax and other changes in property-related taxes (see JEI Report No. 5B, February 8, 1991). On the monetary side the Bank of Japan raised the official discount rate five times in 15 months from May 1989, from 2.5 percent to 6 percent, in an effort to end the speculative excesses sweeping the economy. From April 1990 the Ministry of Finance started to implement restrictions on gross lending by financial institutions for real estate activities. (Excluded from this directive were the housing loan companies or jusen.) These policies began to have an influence on nationwide land transactions by 1991 and contributed to the ensuing price drops.

Economic Explanation
- According to Yukio Noguchi, a professor at Hitotsubashi University, current property prices already are lower than their prebubble levels.3 He proposes three reasons that real estate prices have continued to go down even with the onset of the postbubble period. Along with excess supply there is also a drop in land use demand, which is part of the cycle associated with recession. Moreover, given a declining birth rate, decentralization of the population and the expansion of businesses to overseas locations, these demand factors have diminished as well. Second, the risks associated with real estate investments rose. A continuing run-up in land prices in large cities means property is a sure bet for capital gains, but falling prices make real estate a risky asset. Third, expectations about the growth rate flip-flopped. Land prices in Japan had stayed high largely because investors expected further increases in value and not because of any real phenomenon. If assumptions about future gains change, real estate prices will go down.

Kazuo Sato, director general of a group representing real estate syndicators, raises five points in explaining the prospects for a further decline in property prices.4 First, he says, Japan's economy has matured and no longer can achieve the high economic growth rates it did in the past. From the postwar period until the first energy crisis in 1973 the economy expanded at an average annual real rate of 9 percent, while land prices went up 16 percent. From the energy crisis to 1990, an age of relatively stable growth, the expansion in national output slipped to 4 percent in price-adjusted terms, but property prices kept growing at double that annual pace. Extending this relationship, if the economy's performance stays between 2 percent and 2.5 percent, then real estate price increases should run no more than 4 to 5 percent a year.

Second, according to Mr. Sato, the supply of land for residential construction, including rental units, could increase due to such policy changes as new taxes on agricultural land to discourage inappropriate uses, liberalization of rice imports to force out marginal rice farmers and promotion of land leases. Third, the population flow into large cities will end, and, in fact, the total population is expected to peak in 15 years. The influx of people into Japan's three biggest metropolitan areas added 20 million residents to these cities over the 1955-75 period. However, the inflow slowed to around 7 million people between 1975 and 1990. Therefore, the pressure from population increases on the demand for housing in major urban centers progressed at a lower rate. Fourth, in the future information society the importance of land as a factor of production will be downgraded. Fifth, the yen's appreciation as well as the resurgence of America's competitive might are confronting Japan with stiffer international competition, forcing Japanese companies to shift more production overseas.

Public Attitudes - For the most part the public, whether consumers or corporate executives, favors lower real estate prices. In a December 1994 survey two-thirds of the respondents agreed that property prices were too high; 60 percent said that they should be lower. A November 1993 poll of business opinions showed that 40 percent of the responding companies supported a fall in land prices, although 20 percent felt that a continuation of the upward spiral was warranted.5 The 1993 white paper on the economy noted that individual and corporate enthusiasm for real estate investments had been cooled by various reports that property as well as stock transactions had included illegal dealings by speculators, chaotic management of these assets by some companies and compensation by brokerage houses for customers that made large purchases that did not pan out.6


Impacts Of Falling Land Prices

Bad Loan Crisis - After years of healthy growth in lending to real estate-related businesses Japanese financial institutions in 1989 boosted their loans 26.3 percent to so-called bubble industries, which in addition to real estate businesses included nonbanks and construction companies. In fact, double-digit increases in such lending continued beyond the bubble period, with, for example, a 19 percent gain in 1993. Finally in 1994 real estate-related loans dropped 4.3 percent. The underlying real estate served as collateral for most of these loans. When land prices began to drop in the early 1990s, the value of the supporting collateral obviously eroded. A lot of real estate loans consequently soured. In its latest estimate of the scope of the problem the Ministry of Finance figured that Japanese financial institutions were saddled as of September 30, 1995 with ¥37.4 trillion ($374 billion at ¥100=$1.00) worth of underperforming or nonperforming loans. Many people assume, however, that the true amount is at least twice as much (see JEI Report No. 44A, December 1, 1995).

In December 1994 two Tokyo-based credit cooperatives (shinkumi), Tokyo Kyowa Credit Cooperative and Anzen Credit Cooperative, failed (see JEI Report No. 47B, December 16, 1994). These collapses were followed by the summer 1995 failures of Cosmo Credit Corp., Kizu Credit Cooperative and Hyogo Bank, Ltd. (see JEI Report No. 37B, October 6, 1995). The Ministry of Finance was able to arrange bailouts for these institutions either with the help of big commercial banks or by handing their bad loans over to the Tokyo Kyodou Bank, which is evolving in the direction of a Resolution Trust Corp.-type of rescue unit, although that was not its originally envisioned charter.

While the rescue plans for the credit cooperatives that have failed to date have been somewhat straightforward, the problems of Japan's housing loan companies (jusen) are much more complicated. These mortgage providers also are saddled with huge amounts of bad loans, with an estimated ¥6.4 trillion-plus ($64.1 billion) deemed unrecoverable. Their current position is a product in part of the exemption given the jusen from the Finance Ministry's April 1990 restriction on gross lending by financial institutions to real estate-related industries. Complicating the situation is the fact that the seven housing loan companies have dual "masters." Agricultural cooperatives acted as the prime lenders to the jusen, but major commercial banks provided the capital to establish the companies in the first place. The two groups spent a good part of 1995's second half trying to force the other to cover the bulk of the massive losses sustained by the jusen (see JEI Report No. 47B, December 22, 1995). Moreover, former MOF officials often retired from government service into key jusen posts. Which government authority is primarily responsible for the jusen problem — the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries that oversees agricultural cooperatives or the Finance Ministry — also is a key question.

Business Asset Problems
- Real estate together with stocks constituted hidden assets for most big businesses in Japan during the bubble economy years. Indeed, the ever-higher prices of property provided additional collateral for borrowing used to invest in the stock market; that, in turn, served to keep stock prices high. Therefore, falling real estate prices led to falling stock prices. As a result, the hidden assets represented by both property and stocks turned into hidden losses (see Table 4).

The first priority for most Japanese companies facing this situation has been to adjust their balance sheets. As the 1994 white paper on the economy explained, a company's hidden assets typically serve as a buffer if the firm gets into trouble,7 although knowledge that there was a fallback often prompted corporate executives to make risky investments. Moreover, financial institutions — which are likely to assign greater weight to a potential borrower's assets than to its business prospects in evaluating loan applications — found it easier to lend money to companies that had considerable latent assets. Once these paper assets started to evaporate with the fall first in stock prices and then in property prices, companies became more risk-averse and financial institutions refrained from lending them money.

Lower property prices obviously can be an advantage for some industries, however. Indeed, after little growth in the late 1980s and a big drop in 1991 the number of housing starts began to increase due to falling land prices and interest rates as well as the greater availability of mortgages with below-market interest rates from the government's Housing Loan Corp. Condominium starts, in particular, benefited from the new environment. The upturn in total housing starts stalled in 1995 because of the economy's continuing woes, but the earlier increases in starts reinforced the trend of falling prices for houses as well as land.

Household Adjustments - Consumers also have faced a need to adjust their household budgeting and balance sheets, according to the 1993 economic white paper. In the bubble economy years consumers both increased their financial assets and took on more debt. Many individuals invested in one-room condominiums and vacation homes. Falling real estate prices have reduced the value of these properties, confronting owners with the prospect of a sizable loss if they sell. Some have little choice since the income from investments that once helped them make mortgage payments also has been cut.


Proposed Solutions

Bad-Loan Payoff - Falling real estate prices that resulted in devalued collateral and less lending contributed to the recession-like conditions that have plagued Japan for the last four years or so; the slump, in turn, has caused a further decline in land prices. Government officials and analysts alike consider a solution to the problem of tumbling property prices to be part and parcel of a broader solution to the bad-loan crisis and other financial problems hamstringing the economy. In early June 1995 the Ministry of Finance announced a plan to assist banks to deal with their problem loans and, at the same time, to assure the long-term stability and health of the overall domestic financial system (see JEI Report No. 22B, June 16, 1995). Most important, perhaps, the government made explicit that the Bank of Japan stood ready to extend emerging loans to troubled institutions — but only until the year 2000 and with stiffer conditions imposed. The ministry also stated that real estate put up as collateral for loans-turned-bad would be liquidated.

Other provisions of the June package included the following:

  • Starting in 2000, there probably will be no more public rescues of poorly performing banks. They simply will be allowed to go bankrupt.
  • Depositors at failed banks will receive only limited payouts from the Deposit Insurance Corp.
  • Financial institutions will have to pay higher DIC premiums in preparation for more payouts on behalf of failed lenders in the near future.
  • Mergers between financial institutions that fall into different regulatory categories will be encouraged.
  • Early and complete disclosure of nonperforming and underperforming loans will be required.
  • Banks will be supervised more tightly for sound management practices.8

Whether to use public funds to bail out failing financial institutions has been a topic of much debate in Japan. The Ministry of Finance as well as major banks have been cautious about committing to such a course because of the potential for a taxpayer backlash, which already had been demonstrated by the public reaction to the rescue plan for the first two credit cooperatives that failed. Therefore, MOF's June 1995 package stressed that financial institutions should do their utmost to solve their own problems themselves, sidestepping the question of whether public funds would be used in the future to bail out failing institutions.

While this debate was taking shape, the Bank of Japan's moves to cut the official discount rate and guide other interest rates lower helped financial institutions to earn profits with which to write off their bad loans. This initiative, however, implicitly transfers income from depositors to banks and their shareholders. It also has not been as beneficial for insurance companies, which also have bad loans; in their cases lower interest rates decrease the returns that their customers can expect to earn.

Akiyoshi Horiuchi, a professor at Tokyo University, summarized the response of many analysts to MOF's June 1995 package when he argued, "Considering the vulnerability of the current Japanese financial system, spending five years for adjustment is too slow a time frame. It is necessary to persuade people by presenting a fundamental structural reform plan and showing the political will to implement it in a short period to move to a more solid and efficient financial system."9

A more direct approach is being used to tackle the problems of the jusen. The ruling coalition parties and the government decided in mid-December on a final plan for liquidating the seven failed housing loan companies. The most controversial aspect of the bailout is the use of public funds.

The package's provisions include the following:

  • The seven housing loan companies, saddled with ¥6.4 trillion ($64.1 billion) in immediate losses, will be dissolved and their assets — both good and bad — will be transferred to a new entity tentatively named the Jusen Disposal Organization.
  • The banks that founded the jusen will write off ¥3.5 trillion ($35 billion) of their ¥5.1 trillion ($51 billion) in loans to the housing loan companies. The founders also will extend capital and low-interest loans to the Jusen Disposal Organization.
  • Other banks with loans to the jusen will give up ¥1.7 trillion ($17 billion) and provide low-interest loans as well.
  • Farm cooperatives will absorb ¥530 billion ($5.3 billion) of the estimated ¥5.5 trillion ($55 billion) they lent to the jusen as well as extend low-interest loans.
  • The government will transfer ¥685 billion ($6.9 billion) from the FY 1996 general account budget to DIC to cover the remaining jusen losses. Taxpayers are likely to be saddled with an even bigger bill since the full extent of the mortgage providers' losses cannot be calculated now.
  • The government also will add ¥5 billion ($50 million) to DIC's capital and ask the Bank of Japan to inject additional funds.10

The Japanese media calculated that the ¥685 billion ($6.9 billion) in the FY 1996 general account budget earmarked for the jusen bailout equates to everyone living in Japan, including infants and the elderly, paying at least ¥5,500 ($55) each for the rescue effort. Shinshinto, the main opposition party, has voiced strong opposition to the inclusion in the package of taxpayer monies. "Public opinion will not tolerate the use of public funds," one party official was quoted as saying.11

Efforts to Increase Land Transactions - The use of public funds also has been proposed by some people as a way to encourage real estate sales and stop or at least slow the fall in property prices. So far, however, the main initiative in this area has been the January 1993 establishment of Cooperative Credit Purchasing Co., Ltd. by 162 financial institutions (see JEI Report No. 4B, February 5, 1993). The idea behind CCPC, supported by the government, is to remove bad loans backed by real estate from banks' balance sheets. CCPC purchases the loans, invariably at a discount, and then attempts to liquidate the underlying collateral. By March 1995 CCPC had bought 5,197 credits at a total price of ¥3.8 trillion ($38 billion), less than half the original loan value of ¥8.6 trillion ($86 billion). Moreover, the CCPC had succeeded in selling real estate collateral worth only 2 percent of the loan value.

Tokunosuke Hasegawa, a professor at Meikai University in Chiba prefecture, has proposed that the government or public corporations help generate real estate turnover by using zero coupon or public bonds carrying a 2 percent interest rate to buy land for housing through an open-bidding process. The interest payment would be financed from the revenue collected from the land-value tax.12 The benefits of this plan, its designer suggests, include not only more property transactions but also improved housing availability and market determination of real estate prices. Kiyohiko Nishimura, a professor at Tokyo University, questions whether such a setup would stop the fall in prices. He argues, in fact, that prices would continue to drop if more property were sold through open bidding. At the same time he acknowledges that the market would be distorted if the government were to pay more for land than its market price.13

Taxation Reform - Many people have pointed out that the reform of tax policies is an integral part of any solution to the current problem of declining real estate prices. The real estate industry long has insisted that the January 1992 land-value tax, imposed on high-value properties in an effort to end real estate speculation, should be abolished. The industry won support for its position last year from Japan's four major business organizations: Keidanren (Japan Federation of Economic Organizations), Nikkeiren (Japan Federation of Employers' Associations), Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives) and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The business groups argue that real estate-based taxes, including the fixed property tax as well as the land-value tax, are squeezing corporate profits. Moreover, they say, the current rate of capital gains taxation on property transactions discourages sales, particularly if the real estate has been held for an extended period.

Some scholars refute these points. Kikuo Iwata, a professor at Sophia University, argues that the elimination of the land-value tax actually would delay sales because property owners might expect prices to increase again and, thus, would be tempted to hold on to their land.14 Although admitting the necessity of coordinating the fixed property tax and the land-value tax and cutting the capital gains tax on land sales, Hiroshi Kato, chairman of the government's Tax Commission, argues that the purpose of the land-value tax is not just lower real estate prices but destruction of the "land myth" — the idea that property values always will appreciate — and corporate decisions based on this misconception.15

In mid-December 1995 the ruling coalition parties announced a tax reform outline for FY 1996, which begins April 1. In this framework the rate at which the land-value tax is levied will drop from the current 3 percent to 1.5 percent on the condition that the taxation base is expanded to all owners except individuals and small and midsized businesses. The three parties also endorsed a further cut in the capital gains tax on land sales, following an earlier reduction detailed in the fiscal 1995 tax reform package. They recommended as well some adjustments to moderate automatic increases in the fixed property tax. The Tax Commission presented its FY 1996 proposal, which was in line with the coalition's, to the prime minister on the same day.

In reporting on responses to the coalition parties' tax reform plan the Nihon Keizai Shimbun quoted two sources unhappy about particular details. Yutaka Kume, head of Keidanren's committee on taxation and chairman of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., took issue with the proposal to lower the land-value tax rate rather than abolish the levy, although he supported the idea of a cut in the capital gains tax on land sales. Mr. Kume used the occasion to urge that a reduction in what he termed Japan's internationally high corporate tax rate be considered for the next round of tax reform. He also emphasized the importance of administrative reform to reduce government expenditures and therefore lower taxes.

Hitotsubashi University Professor Noguchi conversely was dissatisfied with the proposed reduction in the land-value tax since he feels that the rate should be kept at the present level. At the same time he applauded the suggested cut in the capital gains tax on land sales on the grounds that it would facilitate real estate transactions. Mr. Noguchi was critical of the outline's limited scope, dictated by the desire to reduce tax burdens as one means to generate an economic recovery. He suggested that the plan should have been broader in focus, covering the desirable levels of taxation on all assets.16

Related Issues - Discussions of falling real estate prices and ways to reverse these declines imply various approaches to the problems faced by the Japanese economy. Tax Commission chairman Kato has emphasized that the original purpose of the land-holding tax was to destroy a system that he said encouraged companies to rely too much on their latent property profits instead of seeking new ways to enrich their net worth.17 Mr. Noguchi of Hitotsubashi University argues, "The possession of land by traditional businesses is one of the obstacles for new businesses to grow in Japan. ... Therefore, new businesses welcome land price drops, although traditional businesses may need to maintain land prices [for balance sheet reasons]."18 Any government's use of the tax system to promote what it considers to be public policy goals in addition to raising revenues is bound to be controversial. The current debate over the land-value tax and other real estate-based taxes is no exception.



Key to the discussions about the ongoing drops in property prices in Japan is how and when the government can intervene most effectively in the market — or whether it should at all. Although some analysts argue that Tokyo has had a hand in causing the financial problems associated with lower property prices, not all observers see the government's culpability in the current crisis. They blame, for example, the decisions made by speculators during the late 1980s' bubble economy. In the opinion of these analysts those companies and individuals that earned often enormous paper profits during the bubble years should take responsibility for the losses caused by their decisions. In this view market forces should be the judge of whether a decision is right or wrong. In Japan, however, the government has tended to try to substitute its judgment for the market's.

Some observers say that the Japanese government considers its role partially one of wealth distributor as well as being a helpmate to big business. In the case of real estate prices these two goals are at odds, since the former argues for lower prices and the latter requires support for higher ones. The wisest choice for Tokyo in this area may be to allow market signals to become more visible. Obviously, though, if the market drove down real estate prices to the point where bankruptcies started to be widespread and unemployment shot up, government support might be necessary inasmuch as the market might not be functioning adequately. Some may argue, however, that the cost of intervention would be higher in such a situation than if the government acted sooner. But intervention advocates need to present a more persuasive case than they have so far.

The views expressed in this report are those of the author
and do not necessarily represent those of the Japan Economic Institute

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1aa "Jisei Chikawa Piiku NoNiwari, Nao Soko Mizzu (market price is only 20 percent of peak, but bottom is still not seen)," Shukan Toyo Keizai, August 26, 1995, p. 13. Return to Text

2aa Hidetaka Yoneyama, "Taisho Baburu - Showa Kyoko to Chika Gekido (From Taisho bubble to Showa depression, and fluctuation of land prices)," Shukan Toyo Keizai, September 30, 1995, pp. 26-27. Return to Text

3aa Yukio Noguchi, "Jiniteki na Geraku Soshi wa Dekinai (Artificial measures to stop a decline of land prices does not work)," Shukan Toyo Keizai, August 26, 1995, pp. 24-25. Return to Text

4aa Kazuo Sato, "Shijo Kozo Gekihen de 'Ri Baburu' Nashi (No rebubble because of a drastic change of market structure)," Shukan Toyo Keizai, September 30, 1995, p. 31. Return to Text

5aa "Zadankai – Sogoteki na Tochi Seisaku no Suishin ni tsuite (A round table talk on the promotion of overall land policies)," Hito to Kokudo, XX, No. 6, March 1995, p. 14. Return to Text

6aa Economic Planning Agency, Keizai Hakusho 1993 (White Paper on the Economy) (Tokyo: 1993), p. 150. Return to Text

7aa Ibid., p. 110. Return to Text

8aa "Get house in order or face bankruptcy, ministry tells banks," The Japan Times, June 9, 1995, p. 1. Return to Text

9aa Akiyoshi Horiuchi, "Kouteki Shikin ga Nihon Keizai wo Sukuu (Public funds rescue Japanese economy)," Shukan Toyo Keizai, September 30, 1995, p. 31. Return to Text

10aa "Plan set for failed 'jusen'," The Japan Times, December 20, 1995, p. 1. Return to Text

11aa Ibid., p. 7. Return to Text

12aa Tokunosuke Hasegawa, "Kokyo niyoru Jiage no Kanketsu sikanai (Purchasing land by the public sector is the only solution)," Shukan Toyo Keizai, August 12-19, 1995, p. 46. See Chiyoji Misawa, "Shusenji no Araryoji wo Omoidase (Remember the drastic remedy just after the war)," Shukan Toyo Keizai, September 30, 1995, p. 19, for another, similar, proposal. Return to Text

13aa "Jukyu wo Hanei shi Geraku shita Kyoko no Chika (False land prices which dropped reflecting supply and demand)," Shukan Toyo Keizai, September 30, 1995, p. 24. Return to Text

14aa Yasushi Kudo, "Zeisei Minaoshitemo Chika wa Sagedomaranai (A revision of taxation does not stop land price drops)," Shukan Toyo Keizai, November 11, 1995, p. 81. Return to Text

15aa "Chikazei Toketsu Yokyu wa Machigatteiru (A request for abolishing the land-value tax is wrong)," Shukan Toyo Keizai, November 11, 1995, pp. 84-85. Return to Text

16aa "Watashiwa Ko Miru (Comments on the Tax Reform Outline)," Nihon Keizai Shinbun, December 16, 1995, p. 3. Return to Text

17aa Shukan Toyo Keizai (November 11, 1995), op. cit., p. 84. Return to Text

18aa Yukio Noguchi, Shukan Toyo Keizai, (August 26, 1995), op. cit., p. 26. Return to Text

The views expressed in this report are those of the author
and do not necessarily represent those of the Japan Economic Institute

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