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Have you been vaccinated for Covid 19?   The Healthy You: Health and Fitness Polls

Started 3/6/21 by Showtalk; 4398 views.
Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

4/2/21

I remember the San Francisco crash. It was big news for days. 

WALTER784

From: WALTER784 

4/3/21

Showtalk said...

Isn’t space in a Japan severely limited? Here, if they need more ground space for air travel, they just expand.

It depends on where in Japan.

In larger cities, yes, it's very limited. The only way you can expand is up or down. If they want to expand sideways, it could take 20 ~ 30 or more years. Slowly buying up smaller buildings in a very large square or rectangular shape one at a time. After the final building in that block has been bought, they can finally tear down the old 2 ~ 5 or 6 story buildings, dig deep and place numerous pylons into the ground until they hit solid rock. Then they start building the basement, first floor followed by a large 40 ~ 80 story structure.

But in rural areas, they're always converting natural woodland, vegetable farms or rice paddies into homes or buildings.

FWIW

Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

4/3/21

You are lucky they are willing to build new homes.  Here, places that need housing the most are denying building permits.  I just saw an enormous planned apartment complex scrapped because local residents to the street where it was to be built said it would pollute and cause too much traffic. Even though their own streets were not thoroughfares for new traffic.  

WALTER784

From: WALTER784 

4/4/21

Showtalk said...

You are lucky they are willing to build new homes.  Here, places that need housing the most are denying building permits.  I just saw an enormous planned apartment complex scrapped because local residents to the street where it was to be built said it would pollute and cause too much traffic. Even though their own streets were not thoroughfares for new traffic.

Well, the rules and zoning laws in Japan are totally different than in the US.

In Japan, they have what's called "Kenpeiritsu" which means "Building coverage" in direct translation, but it's quite complicated.

The land I bought had a building coverage rule of 70:400. That means that I can build a structure up to 70% of my total land area and the structure cannot be taller than 4 stories (400%). But that's rural zoning rules. In downtown Tokyo and other major cities, the rules and zoning laws are entirely different and much more difficult. So if you had a two story structure, wanted to tear it down and rebuild a 3 or 4 story structure in it's place, you couldn't do it due to the new building coverage laws. And if you wanted to build a super structure (40 floors or taller), you would have to acquire a massive amount of land before such construction could start. So it could take some real estate agents up to 20, 30 or more years and billions of dollars to buy up all the smaller property in and around the area.

In the mean time, what these real estate agents do is until they acquire all the land they need, the take the land they currently own, bulldoze down all the structures and turn it into a parking lot. Some times 1, 2 or 3 or more stories high and rent out that space as parking space for the 10, 20, 30 or more years until they acquire all the land around they need to start building the super structure. And parking lot rental prices in downtown Tokyo are like $6.00 for 30 minutes.

As for pollution, there's no worry about that here in Japan as they are very efficient in recycling and maintaining a clean environment. As for traffic... in downtown... there is absolutely no way to alleviate the traffic. 17 million people work in Tokyo in the daytime and 12 million people live in Tokyo during the evening. That means that 5 million people commute in and out of Tokyo daily. Of course, 90% of them commute via trains, but the remaining 10% use cars, taxis, buses, motor bikes, etc. And then you have the regular parcel delivery services, pizza, McDonald's, Uber eats and other food delivery services, Japan postal service, electric/water/gas service vehicles, etc. always on the streets somewhere in downtown Tokyo.

And then, the political problems inherent in the US are also not found here in Japan either. Things like low income housing projects in the US. Japan does have low income housing apartments and mansions, but they're not filled with minority races. They're filled with Japanese who qualify for low-income housing. Those apartments are usually located in the outskirts of Tokyo because it's cheaper than right in downtown Tokyo, but they're also not riddled with the high crime rate often found in the US either. The qualifications are strict and there's no guarantee that you can continue living there for ever either.

Politicians in the US want to clean up some of these low income project housing complexes by moving the people outside of the city, building up a new supermarket, mall or other public facility in an effort to clean up the streets, but all they're really doing is moving the poverty/high crime areas elsewhere on the outskirts of the city... nothing to actually help resolve the low income problem or the crime rate! And for this, many people in the US reject when politicians want to come in and build something because they're the ones who usually get the brunt end of the stick too. You don't have that here in Japan.

FWIW

Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

4/4/21

Those parking rates are similar to the cost in Manhattan.  That is why so many people in big cities don’t own or use cars if they can avoid it.  San Francisco is the same.  With Covid isolation,  a car has become a prized possession.  

I don’t know much about commercial building but here everything seems to be rushed. I can’t imagine a company sitting on a huge parcel of land for 10-20-30 years when they can build right away.  We had a commercial building that was sold, and within a year, the new owners had already started construction on a satellite building for their main offices down the street. Huge companies often have other locations when their central area is tapped out and there is no more land available.

Politicians need a poor class to vote for them so there is no incentive to completely get rid of poverty. We keep waiting for that to happen and it never does.  People need to be educated, and to have work available.  It’s very simple, the politicians know it and still they can’t seem to solve it.

Yes, I heard from people traveling to Japan, you have white collar type crimes but very little physical crime.

WALTER784

From: WALTER784 

4/4/21

Showtalk said...

I can’t imagine a company sitting on a huge parcel of land for 10-20-30 years when they can build right away.  We had a commercial building that was sold, and within a year, the new owners had already started construction on a satellite building for their main offices down the street. Huge companies often have other locations when their central area is tapped out and there is no more land available.

First of all, who ever owns a large enough plot of land in downtown Tokyo to build a high rise, will rarely ever sell it. They will just tear down the old structure and rebuild a new one. Only if the real estate owner's company is in super impossible to get out of monetary danger of going under will they sell.

As for why they have to wait 10 ~ 30 years. Because the previous land owners (please note the plural as in 15 ~ 30 owners) will not all sell their properties. So they start by buying one or two properties. Then a year or two later they buy another 3 or 4 properties and that continues until all 15 ~ 30 owners sell... otherwise they won't be able to build the new super high rise because they require all the land of all 15 ~ 30 owners. And there's always going to be one or two owners who don't want to sell and that stalemates the process while they negotiate an even higher price for those last one or two properties. Real estate owners would end up loosing more by waiting for the owners to sell at the lower price so they negotiate for several years until a final figure (higher than the real estate agent wanted to buy it at) because without that last property, construction couldn't begin.

They can however tear down the old buildings and convert them into parking lots to bring in minimal revenue from those properties until then. So you see several small mom & pop shops that were built right after WWII go out of business and their two or three story homes are converted into parking spaces. Often times, the businesses were on the first floor where as the families lived on the 2nd and 3rd floors. But the real estate owners need to buy a block of these buildings with 15 ~ 30 owners before they can acquire enough land to build the super structure. So one by one, old buildings are torn down and converted into parking lots over a very long period of time. Finally, once the last property has been acquired, building of the new super structure begins.

Usually 1.5 to 2 years later, this new high rise has parking on the B4 & B3 floors and is filled with shops and restaurants on the B2, B1 and usually 1st and 2nd floors, some times a 3rd floor is used as well. Then, from the 3rd or 4th floor up to the top 40th ~ 70th floor, they have a mixture of office spaces and mansions for either rent or sale.

Rent is very very very expensive. The picture below and mansion size is taken from: https://www.kencorp.com/rent/tokyoapartment/search/special/74.html

J is the Japanese measurement in size of tatami mats. 1 tatami mat is 3.3 sq. meters. So 164.672/sq. meters rents out for JPY 630,000 or roughly US$5,697.11/month (US$68,365.00/year) at current yen rate. 

Room J Sq. Meters
Master Bedroom 12.2 40.26
Bedroom 6.8 22.44
Closet 1.2 3.96
Living Dining 20.2 66.66
Kitchen 4.4 14.52
Bedroom 5.1 16.83
Total 49.9 164.67

https://www.kencorp.co.jp/images/property/20091107/2009110773/2009110773_a.gif

Note: If you wanted to buy property in downtown Tokyo, you would have to be a billionaire. A residence in Akasaka is JP Yen 4,720,000 per 1 square meter (US $42,679.11/sq. meter at current rate). So if you wanted to buy the place above instead of rent it, that would be roughly $7,027,969.04 for such a small place.

FWIW

Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

4/5/21

That is shocking. So people end up moving out of the city?

WALTER784

From: WALTER784 

4/6/21

Showtalk said...

So people end up moving out of the city?

Tokyo has a population of 17 million during the day and 12 million at night. That means that 5 million commute in and out of Tokyo daily. Some only have a 30 ~ 45 minute commute while others have 1.5 ~ 2 hour commutes.

My place is 1.5 hours away, but I have 282 sq. meters and the land alone cost me US$77,000 plus, I build a two story home on it for an additional $260,000, so for me... the price of my home was greater than the price of the property. But that's in a very rural area 1.5 hours away from Tokyo. Had I try to purchase the same thing in downtown Tokyo, I would have had to be a billionaire and the price of the property would probably have been 15 ~ 20 times more than the house.

As such, most people who live in downtown Tokyo rent rather than purchase. A very few lucky ones who had their parent's land handed down to them still have property. But they too have a big problem... it's called inheritance tax.

Back in 1986, an old friend of mine (68 years old), had this beautiful large property right in downtown Tokyo. He passed away in 1999 and his son inherited the land. The inheritance tax was $363,636 and the yearly property tax he had to pay was exorbitant as well. His son was unable to afford paying the tax so he worked with a local real estate developer to tear down his father's single story house, split the land in two and built 2 two story houses on that land. He rented out one of those two store homes for $5,400 per month and he initially lived in the other one.

Several years later, the real estate agent made him an offer... he would sell the land and the two homes to the real estate agent for a very hefty price AND would receive a very large high rise mansion free of charge (except for the elevator and yearly maintenance fees, water, gas & electric.)

So not only is it expensive to purchase in downtown Tokyo, but inheritance tax, land tax and various other fees make it expensive to maintain as well.

So yes, the majority either rent in downtown Tokyo or move into the suburbs and purchase either a mansion or home.

When I first bought my place 34 years ago, land was only $270 per sq meter. Now, my land is appraised at approx. $700 sq. meter. But my mortgage was for 25 years and thus it's long paid off for several years now.

FWIW

Showtalk
Host

From: Showtalk 

4/6/21

Is it nicer living outside the city?  Or do you miss out on a lot?  That is a good sized house. 3,000 sq ft in U.S. terms.

Where was the mansion the man moved to?

WALTER784

From: WALTER784 

4/7/21

Well, the father of the guy who acquired that plot of land actually inherited a slightly smaller plot of land from his father in 1920. That plot of land was about a 15 minute walk to the Imperial Palace right smack in the middle of Tokyo.

After WWII, another man who owned that plot of land he acquired, traded it with him for his father's land 15 minute walk from the Imperial Palace. My friend (the father of the guy who acquired it) liked the idea of getting such a large piece for the smaller piece of land he owned. But the land he acquired was like about a 50 minute walk from the Imperial Palace instead of the 15 minute walk of his father's place.

The mansion the son got was also about the same distance from the Imperial Palace, but about 10 kilometers away, but still in greater downtown Tokyo.

I myself lived in downtown Tokyo for several years. It's convenient, but expensive. And you don't have that much greenery.

The son of my friend was born and raised in downtown Tokyo and thus that's the only life he's known. I on the other hand was brought up in a more rural area and thus enjoy nature and the natural surroundings that come with it.

He can walk 5 minutes and buy just about anything. I require a car to go buy something.

He doesn't have a front or back yard, but shares the 1st floor with hundreds of other people. I have a front and back yard and only share it with my family.

I can park 3 cars in front of my house, but he has to pay $700 or more per month to just park one car if he has one.

I often watch wild quail running around in front of my house. He will never ever be able to experience that.

I have to cut my own lawn several times a year. He doesn't have to.

I breath fresh air daily where as he's in downtown Tokyo and thus must breath the smog that's constantly pumped into the air.

I hang my clothes on the clothes line in front of my house. He has to hang his either on his verandah or on the roof of the mansion he lives in. Both will show the same results... black soot from the smog on his clothing hung outside.

I live a 15 minute drive to the Pacific ocean. He lives about 1.5 hours from the Pacific ocean.

Personally, I never really liked living in downtown Tokyo, but put up with it for several years until I moved out to a better place.

FWIW

 

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