This year marks 11 years since the Noda administration of the Democratic Party of Japan decided to reduce and sell off public employee housing. However, in Ebisu, Shirokanedai, Shinjuku, and other prime locations in Tokyo, there are still “abandoned government buildings” left in a state of disrepair, as civil servants have long since stopped living in them.
All of the old government buildings are in prime locations in Tokyo, and in some places they are large enough to build townhouses. From the point of view of private real estate agents, this land is ‘absolutely profitable,’ and they want it so badly that they can’t wait to get their hands on it,” said housing journalist Junji Sakaki.
Joint dormitory Wakamatsu Housing
45.0 billion yen
This is a former national public employee dormitory located in Toyama 1-chome, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. The building is surrounded by a large space that was probably originally a parking lot.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, it was urgently needed to secure financial resources for reconstruction, and the national public employee dormitories, of which there were approximately 220,000 units in Japan at the time, were the obvious choice. About 25%, or 56,000 units, were to be abolished or sold by fiscal 2004, five years from now. The plan was designed to reduce expenditures and secure financial resources for reconstruction.
Why, in spite of this, has there been so little progress in the sale of these units up to the present? An official at the Kanto Regional Finance Bureau of the Ministry of Finance, which is in charge of managing the building, responded as follows: “For some reason, the decommissioning procedures have not been completed.
There are still properties that have not been decommissioned for one reason or another. There may be cases where the government is taking time to investigate soil and buried materials, or local public bodies have approached us about using the land and have stopped selling it to the private sector. In some cases, the neighbors are unwilling to allow development by the private sector after the government has sold the land, so it may take time to coordinate these relationships.”
So there are too many parties involved and the government is “dysfunctional. How much land of value is left lying dormant? A real estate agent tells us.
The land for the former Sendagaya Housing is located in a corner near Shinjuku Station where many high-rise buildings stand in a row. It is approximately 9,500 square meters in size. If a townhouse could be built, the market price would be around 35 billion yen.
The Finance Bureau of the Ministry of Finance, which is in charge of medium- to long-term planning for state-owned land, told our interviewer, “We are preparing to utilize the land by leasing it on a fixed-term lease basis. Mr. Sakaki, mentioned above, said, “It’s not fair to leave so much land unattended.
I honestly don’t understand why they are leaving so much land unattended. I suspect that the politicians are trying to gain profit from it.
The total market price of the seven properties confirmed by FRIDAY to have been sold is estimated to be in excess of 50 billion yen. Before discussing tax increases, we would like to see something done about the “abandoned government buildings” first.
Supreme Court Sanko-cho Quarters
11.800 million yen
The dormitory owned by the Supreme Court, located in Shirokane 4-chome, Minato-ku. The ivy in the foreground has begun to reach the white walls.
Koishikawa Dormitory, Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau
24.300 million yen
Former dormitory for national public servants located in Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku. The Koishikawa Tax Office is located next door, and the warning-colored fence is a thing of beauty.
Shirokanedai Annex, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
16.0.0 billion yen
A former training facility in Shirokanedai, Minato-ku. Criticized for its “low occupancy rate,” the decision was made to discontinue the facility, although it is not a national public employee dormitory.
Joint dormitory Sendagaya Residence
350.400 million yen
It is conveniently located 600m from JR Shinjuku Station and has enough space and is perfect for the construction of a townhouse, but it has been abandoned.
Public Security Intelligence Agency Training Institute Ebisu Dormitory
64.200 million yen
Former training dormitory located in Ebisu-minami 3-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. It is said to have been used for training new employees of the Public Security Intelligence Agency for about one month.
Former site of Jingumae dormitory, National Printing Bureau
24.100 million yen
The site is located in Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. According to a local resident, “there is occasional graffiti on the site due to the fact that it has been vacant for many years.
The amount in the article is the estimated sale price of the land. Based on interviews with real estate agents, the figure was calculated by taking into account the unit price per tsubo of the surrounding area and the total floor area of the building that could be constructed.
From the November 11, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Shinji Hamasaki