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China Invested in 700 Land Deals in Japan; Most Are Near Military Facilities

Chinese buyers are among the foreign investors who are buying Japanese real estate on a large scale before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. They are targeting land that is close to military facilities. The Japanese government set up an expert panel in November last year to review the national security risks of such land transactions. The panel found that at least 700 some deals involved Chinese companies.

Sankei Shimbun, a daily newspaper in Japan, reported on May 13 that most of these investment programs involved land that is located near defense bases, including: Self-Defense Forces (SDF), U.S. military bases, the Japanese Coast Guard and space development facilities.

According to the study, Chinese entities purchased 80 parcels of land in Japan’s “high security zone,” including 20 acres near the Hokkaido Self-Defense Force’s Chitose Air Base. Another deal was on Taketomi Island in Okinawa, which is near Taiwan. A third suspicious purchase gave buyers linked to Beijing control over what the SDF described as an “absolute choke point” near the vital Cape Noshappu radar base, which monitors the Russian border.

The report also mentioned a new wave of land purchases that appear to be focused on air and sea radar facilities off the coast of Japan. Examples are deals involving U.S. military bases on Okinawa and Japanese defense sites in Tottori Prefecture. The report stated that Chinese investors are targeting these areas. The reason is that these lands overlook the aforementioned facilities, enabling them to keep tabs on the activities of Japanese and U.S. ships, warplanes and personnel.

The Japanese Cabinet is considering a bill which designates real estate purchases by foreign investors within one kilometer of key facilities as meriting special review, including a requirement for the buyers to declare in advance how they plan to use the property.

Source: Epoch Times, May 16, 2021