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Japan tracks land sales amid spying fears from hostile nations!

The Japanese government is considering developing a land registration system to monitor transactions near military sites and civilian facilities held by foreign powers due to concerns about eavesdropping from unfriendly countries. Concern over nations like China, Russia, and North Korea buying real estate adjacent to significant military sites used by the US or Japanese forces has been building for years.

Additionally, the government believes that foreign governments are purchasing homes close to major bridges, nuclear power facilities, seaports, and airports. Tokyo is aiming to restrict property owned by foreign nationals who have been sanctioned by implementing the new system. There are rumours that the administration has already designated 60 places that are extremely important to national security.

Japanese opposition parties have been urging the government to pass laws that will enable them to determine the genuine owner of a piece of land, who is typically concealed behind a number of shell corporations. If enacted, the scheme would be modelled after laws introduced by the UK earlier this year with a like goal. The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, which took effect in March, grants authorities the freedom to ‘take enforcement action and impose penalties on those that infringe sanctions limits, through the establishment of a ‘strict responsibility’ standard’.

Jin Matsubara, a representative of the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said she was ‘amazed to learn the success of Britain’s new rule that requires offshore corporations to disclose their beneficial owners’.  He said, ‘The UK has established a crucial precedent for the globe, and I was glad to learn that the Japanese government has made it clear it would set up a mechanism to gather information on beneficial ownership of assets in Japan’.




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