Recently, real estate purchases in Japan by foreigners are increasing due to the background of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 and the falling Japanese yen. Foreigners from many countries of the world such as from Europe, America, Asia and Oceania have come to buy Japanese real estate for investment purposes or for their own use.
Foreigners are increasingly becoming real estate owners such as of condominiums and the commercial buildings in Central Tokyo and of resort properties in Hokkaido.
Can a foreigner purchase property in Japan?
Yes, it is possible.
A foreigner can acquire proprietary rights to Japanese real estate just like a Japanese national. Proprietary rights to land in Japan by a foreigner is also permitted.
There is no time limit to proprietary rights, and it can be bought, sold and inherited freely among foreigners. The tax paid by a foreigner at the time of purchase is also the same as that paid by a Japanese.
The regulations set to real estate ownership by a foreigner differs from country to country.
The following are examples in some other countries:
■ A foreigner cannot purchase a real estate property
Indonesia, Myanmar, islands in the South Pacific, some European countries.
■ A foreigner can purchase a residence but cannot purchase land.
Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, China (only for a limited time period)
■ A foreigner can purchase only a new residence or land.
■ A foreigner can purchase only an expensive property.
Malaysia (More than 30 million yen)
In Japan, there are no restrictions (as seen above in other countries) in regards to real estate ownership of both land and building. Foreigners regardless of their visa status may purchase property.
On the other hand, no special visa or right of permanent residence is provided to a foreigner for the sole reason of having purchased real estate in Japan.
The registration of proprietary rights
After a purchase of real estate property is completed by the seller and buyer signing a contract and payment is made, the new proprietary right is registered in the government office (Legal Affairs Bureau).
When the real estate registration is complete, a “Notice of Information for Registration Identification ” is issued to the new owner.
Obligation of Notification due to the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Act
When a foreigner who lives abroad (hereinafter referred to as “Non-resident”) acquires Japanese real estate, it corresponds to “a capital transaction” in terms of the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Act. The acquirer of real estate needs to fill out and turn in a notification form including their full name and acquisition cost to the Minister of Finance via the Bank of Japan within 20 days of the real estate acquisition.
But in the following cases, the report is not necessary:
1. When a Non-resident acquires for the purpose of own residence or a residence for his or her relatives,
servants or employees
2. When a Non-resident who runs a non-profit business in Japan acquires in order to execute its business activities
3. When a Non-resident acquires for its own business office
4. When a Non-resident acquires from other non-residents
Report Format Style 22, related to Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Act Article 55-3
Report about acquisition of and acquiring the propriety right of real estate in Japan
Place of submission:
〒103-8660 日本郵便株式会社 日本橋郵便局私書箱30号 日本銀行国際局国際収支課外為法手続きグループ
Post-office box 30, Nihonbashi post office, Japanese postal company, 103-8660
C/O Foreign Trade Control Act procedure group, Section of Balance of Payments, International Department,
Bank of Japan
Reference to: Bank of Japan website page: http://www.boj.or.jp/about/services/tame/t-redown2014.htm/#p05