Messages from Monthly Keidanren, December 1997

A Great Chance to Draft Sound Land and Housing Policies

MAEDA Matabee
Vice Chairman of the Board of councillors, keidanren

As the feeling of economic stagnation grow, Japan's ruling and opposition parties alike are striving to form measures to boost the nation's economy.

Since it is assumed that these economic moves are compatible with the promotion of structural reform, policy makers appear to be having difficulties unlike those experienced in the past when devising specific measures.

Given the direction of the measures reported so far, however, it seems quite clear that they are designed to furnish the economy with momentum from the viewpoint of structural reform.

Significantly, "facilitation of realty transactions" is included as one of the pillars among the moves. This is highly appreciated since easing land transactions will contribute to resolving the problem of bad loans, which fetters corporate management, and will greatly help to advance the effective use of real estate.

The government has made clear its shift in land policy from the curbing of its price to its efficacious application. To promote the effective use of land requires laying stress on three points:

First, the government should express a powerful desire to implement its policy, and in fact an official announcement of its firm intention to accomplish its policy will inspire various ingenious concepts and make it easier to obtain positive cooperation from the parties concerned.

Secondly, specific plans for the application of realty should be coordinated with a grand design for land utilization clarifying the direction that should be taken to ensure the efficient use of land, together with a detailed program for attaining the goal presented.

Thirdly, reasonable land and housing policies should be framed. Taxation systems and various regulations related to land should be abolished and newly established in response to changes of the time.

In any event, land and housing policies are the key to building a viable economy and society in the twenty-first century, which leaves little time for policy discussion.

By taking advantage of this opportunity to review overall land and housing policies, the government is required to exert even greater efforts and take bold and decisive steps.

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