According to The Australian Financial Review, as Japan’s population shrinks and more properties go unclaimed, an emerging segment of buyers, feeling less tethered to overcrowded cities, is seeking out rural architecture in need of some love.
The most recent government data, from the 2018 Housing and Land survey, reported about 8.5 million akiya across the country – roughly 14 per cent of the country’s housing stock – but observers say there are many more today. The Nomura Research Institute puts the number at more than 11 million, and predicts that akiya could exceed 30 per cent of all houses in Japan by 2033.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Australia’s largest cities need to plan their longer-term housing supply around train stations to enable sustainable denser development, otherwise they will lose out in the global competition for people and investment.
New KPMG analysis shows that Sydney especially and Melbourne – to a lesser extent – have developed housing close to railway stations in recent years, but that in the longer term they will need to do more.
Over the 15 years to 2021, Greater Sydney developed 430,000 additional homes of which almost half – 49 per cent – were located within 1 kilometre of a train station.
According to The Jiji News, the estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in March stood at 1,817,500, totaling 65.8 pct of the number four years ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japan National Tourism Organization said in a report released.
The number logged a 27-fold increase from a year before and surged from some 1.47 million in February.
The rise was led by growth in the number of visitors from other parts of Asia, the United States, Europe and Australia, as well as the Middle East. Demand for trips to Japan rose thanks to the cherry blossom season and the resumption of operations of international cruise ships calling at Japanese ports.
According to the Jiji news, the average unit price of new condominiums put up for sale in the greater Tokyo area in fiscal 2022 hit a record high for the second year in a row, a private think tank said.
The average condominium price in Tokyo and three prefectures neighboring the Japanese capital--Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba--stood at 69.07 million yen in the year that ended in March, up 8.6 pct year on year, according to Real Estate Economic Institute Co.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Rio Tinto’s Australian iron ore division has made its strongest ever start to a year, with a 16 per cent surge in export volumes adding to signs Rio’s flagship business has turned a corner.
Rio shipped 82.54 million tonnes from Western Australia’s Pilbara region in the three months to March 31, beating the previous first quarter record of 80.31 million tonnes set in 2018.
According to The Australian Financial Review, resources Minister Madeleine King says the Australian manufacturing sector should aim to assemble batteries here rather than settling for exporting raw materials and components, as is suggested by industry experts.
The Albanese government has said one of its top priorities is to add value to Australia’s critical minerals by fostering more onshore processing and manufacturing of modern applications such as batteries.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the housing price downturn is over for Sydney and Melbourne, according to the key property data analysts, who have called the bottom of the market, saying the record return of migrants would bolster prices.
While some housing economists said prices might still have further to fall – if interest rates continued to rise – even those who aren’t yet calling a bottom said the faster than expected return of immigration after the pandemic would underpin the housing market.
“Immigration is going to be stronger than developers anticipated some 12 to 24 months prior, and we saw in the 2000s how unexpected immigration can be a fillip to prices,” said Challenger chief economist Jonathan Kearns, a former head of financial stability at the Reserve Bank.
According to The Jiji News, major Japanese companies are promoting reskilling of workers as they are shifting to job-based employment.
Job-based employment helps to clarify skills companies want, making it easier for workers to consider what to learn. Employees can be promoted to managerial posts regardless of their age or background if they acquire new skills.
According to The Jiji Press, a Japanese company, SkyDrive Inc., has said it started accepting orders from retail customers on Thursday for its SD-05 two-seater flying car, which is currently undergoing tests with the aim of commercialization.
The company, based in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, plans to deliver the flying car in 2025 or later.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Hazer Group has struck a deal with two major Japanese companies to explore building a hydrogen production facility in Chubu, in a major boost to the efforts of the junior technology company to demonstrate the viability of its technology.
Under the terms of the deal, Hazer, Chubu Electric and Chiyoda have agreed to work on a hydrogen and graphitic carbon production hub in the Chubu region of Japan, using the Perth-based company’s technology.
The Hazer process takes natural gas and breaks it up into carbon and hydrogen atoms using a well-known scientific process called the thermocatalytic decomposition of methane. The carbon contained in the gas is trapped, overcoming other methods of producing hydrogen, most notably using gas to power hydrolysis.
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