A survey by the Yomiuri Shimbun has found that foreigners hold as much as 1103 hectares (11.03 million sqm) of forestry in Japan. This number, however, is thought to represent just the tip of the iceberg as there are many cases of foreigners buying land and registering it in the name of a Japanese citizen or local company.
The survey was conducted between the end of March and the middle of April. The local governments across Japan’s 47 administrative regions were asked to provide information on the number of transactions, purchase price and total area. Under the National Land Utilization Law, any transactions of land over 1 hectare must be reported to the local government. The aim of this survey was to find out all other non-reported transactions.