Toshima-ku in Tokyo announced that they will extend the special tax on builders of studio or ‘one-room’ apartments for another five years.
The tax applies to buildings with 9 or more apartments that are less than 30 sqm (323 sqft) in size. A construction company must pay a tax of 500,000 Yen on each studio apartment within two months of the commencement of construction.
The tax was introduced in 2004 to slow down the development of one-person households and encourage more family-type apartments. In 2002, only 1 in 5 households in Toshima consisted of families, while single-person households accounted for 56% (the highest percentage in Tokyo’s 23-ku). A survey in 1998 found that 40% of apartments in Toshima are less than 30 sqm in size.
Between 2004 and 2012, this endeavour raised 2.9 billion yen in tax revenue for the ward. Tax revenues go towards subsidising rental apartments for families.
The Nikkei Shimbun, January 16, 2014.
The Japan Times, January 25, 2002.