Foreign Affairs
How can you get hold of a home for free?

The Maltese say that no one gives you anything or nothing, which is the equivalent of There’s no such thing as a free meal. This time around, however, the proverb about relying on the wisdom of the elderly might not apply, as they’re giving away free homes in Japan.

Japan is presently facing a rare problem. It has more houses than people to live in them. It appears the younger generation are leaving rural areas to go and live in cities for work, and areas in the countryside are ending up vacant. This could lead to some 900 villages in Japan being lost for ever by 2040.

Okutama is one of these villages. Hence the initiative for handing out free homes might help to keep these villages alive.

According to the Japan Policy Forum in 2013, there were some 61 million homes, and only 52 million persons had their own homes. The situation can only aggravate. The Japanese population is expected to drop drastically by 2065 from 127 million persons to 88 million.


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