Japan is trying to lure people into rural areas by selling $500 homes, but it’s not enough to fix the country’s ‘ghost town’ problem

While the US faces a shortage of homes, Japan is experiencing an altogether different issue: There’s a glut of unoccupied homes throughout the country’s rural areas. Japan’s Housing and Land Survey, conducted every five years, logged a record high of 8.49 million akiya in 2018.
These abandoned houses have created “ghost villages” in Japan’s rural prefectures where homes can neither be filled nor knocked down. In some areas, nearly one out of every five homes is empty. The government is offering incentives like $500 homes and tax breaks to entice residents to move from urban centers into rural areas like Wakayama, but cheap housing may not be enough to bridge the cultural divide and the bureaucratic difficulties that moving to a small town create.

READ THE FULL STORY AT Insider.com

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