Foreigners buy 148 hectares of forestry across Japan in 2017

TOKYO, May 5 — With growing concerns over real intention for purchase of forest land in Japan, data from the forestry agency has showed that foreign ownership of forestry remains high.

There were 44 cases of foreign funds acquiring a total of 148 hectares of forestry across Japan in 2017.

That was lower than a year earlier by 54 hectares, but relatively high since the government’s survey started in 2010. The accumulated acquisition of forestry by foreigners totaled 1,589 hectares in 2017.

The biggest buyer was a U.S. corporation, which acquired 66 hectares of forestry in Iwaki city, Fukushima prefecture, to built solar power plants. That accounts for some 60 percent of last year’s total purchase.

The rest of buyers were private individuals and corporations, primarily from Hong Kong (18 cases), the British Virgin Islands (7 cases), Taiwan (5 cases) and Singapore (4 cases).

The main reasons for purchase were either asset holding or development, the agency said.

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