The official residence of the Attorney General in Motoazabu will be returned to the Ministry of Finance, as the government follows its plan of reducing the number of underutilized and over-subsidized housing for senior public officials across Japan.
The Motoazabu residence is on a 2688 sqm block of land in the most prestigious neighborhood in Tokyo. It is along the same street as the Motoazabu Hills complex and is right between the Argentinean Embassy and Proud Motoazabu. The house was built in 1972 and has a total floorsize of 168 sqm (1807 sqft) and is surrounded by Japanese gardens. The market value of the property is estimated at 6 billion Yen (77 million USD). The Ministry acquired the land in 1950, and shortly afterwards it was transferred to the Ministry of Justice.
The Attorney General, who vacated the premises on December 9, was paying a subsidized rent of just 132,060 Yen/month (1690 USD), which is what a normal studio apartment could be rented for in the same area. Houses in the Azabu neighborhood can be rented anywhere upwards of 1 million Yen/month (12,800 USD), and this particular property would have a market rent of 4 million Yen/month (51,000 USD).
The property was included in the list of government accommodations that will be abolished in the next five years. The Ministry of Finance has not decided what it will do with the site.
Starting in Summer, 2012, the Ministry will also vacate the Meguro residences of the head public prosecutors for Tokyo. There were plans to construct housing for executive staff of the prosecutor in Shibuya-ku, but these plans have since been put on hold.
The Asahi Shimbun, December 20, 2011.
Gendai Business, November 17, 2010.
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