Kanagawa Prefectural Governor Yuji Kuroiwa announced that the planned construction of the official governor’s residence has been canceled and the land will be put up for sale.
In the event of a disaster, the prefecture wanted the governor to live within walking distance to the prefectural office. However, the prefecture’s worsening financial conditions have forced them to cut back on some expenditures.
The prefecture will be selling the 3000 sqm block of land in Yamate-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama City. The land is directly across the street from the Yokohama International School and was acquired from a private seller in 1997. The approximately value of the land in 1997 was 1.54 billion Yen. House construction costs were estimated at 240,000,000 Yen. The land was originally purchased for former Governor Hiroshi Okazaki as his personal home was in Fujisawa City. In the event of a disaster, the prefecture wanted the governor to live within walking distance to the government offices. Shortly after the purchase, the prefecture’s financial situation began worsening rapidly and construction plans were suspended.
Governor Kuroiwa is currently leasing an apartment in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai district as his official residence. He said that the apartment is a 30 minute walk from the government offices, so it should not pose a problem in the event of a disaster. As for the receiving of important guests, the governor said that the prefectural office’s parlor and local hotels are more than adequate.
Source: The Nikkei Shimbun, February 18, 2012.