Tsunami-hit homeowners to receive 80% of former land values

The coastal part of Shinchi Town before and after the March 11 tsunami

The town of Shinchi in Fukushima Prefecture will soon begin the process of buying up land in coastal areas from residents who have been displaced from the March 11 tsunami. This is the first town to announce official plans and set purchase values.

The land will be purchased at 80% of the government assessed land values (koji-chika) that were valued prior to the disaster.

There are five towns and cities along the tsunami-hit coastline, incuding Minamisoma, Soma, Iwaki, Hirano and Shinchi, that plan to relocate residents to higher ground. In Shinchi, 500 homes were fully or partially destroyed by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

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Buy-back scheme for tsunami-hit land

The Japanese Government has announced a new buy-back scheme whereby the  residential and farming land along Japan’s tsunami-hit coastline will be bought up by the relevant cities and towns at slightly higher prices.

The purchase price for the land will be calculated by its estimated market value in five years from now. This is based on the government’s 5-year post-quake reconstruction plan which includes restoring all infrastructure to the disaster-hit areas.

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70 – 80 percent drop in rosenka land values in Tohoku

In order to account for changes in land values due to the March 11 Tohoku disaster, Japan’s National Tax Agency (NTA) announced adjustment ratios, or scaling factors, for the 2011 rosenka (prices of land fronting major roads). Along with the 1995 Hanshin Earthquake, this is only the second time in history that adjustment ratios have been introduced.

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Tsunami-damaged kominka to be moved to Shikoku

Many of Japan’s cultural properties were also damaged or destroyed by the March 11 Tohoku Disaster, including a 300 year old farmhouse (kominka) in Minamisanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture.

The “Endo Residence” is over 500 meters from the coast, yet was picked up and moved about 20 meters by the March 11 tsunami. Despite the house being warped, the daikoku-bashira and thatched roof remain mostly intact in their original shape.

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