With regard to measures to prevent purchases of land by foreign capital that have implications for security, the outline of the bill to control land-use and surveys was disclosed on Jan. 24. The government aims to pass the bill during the current Diet session. The administration will designate land within about one kilometer of defense facilities, etc. as “areas to be monitored” in order to determine the ownership and the actual use of the land. The bill includes penalties such as “up to two years’ imprisonment with forced labor” if persons using land inappropriately do not comply with an order to stop using the land. The Cabinet is expected to make a decision on the bill in early March. The disclosure was made by several sources connected to the government and ruling parties.
Points of the bill to control land use
- Designate necessary land within approximately one kilometer of Self-Defense Forces, U.S. military facilities, and critical infrastructure facilities as “areas to be monitored.” Remote islands on the “baseline” [the line along the coast from which the seaward limits of a state’s territorial waters are measured] are also designated.
- Designate critical infrastructure facilities including power, gas, water storage, communication, railroads, broadcasting, airports, etc.
- Penalties include a fine up to 300,000 yen for those who provide false reports on designated areas in response to the government investigation, and up to 2 years’ imprisonment with forced labor or a fine of up to 2 million yen for persons who are using land inappropriately and don’t comply with an order to stop using the land.
- Designate land around facilities and border islands of particular importance as “special areas to be monitored.” Require both parties (seller and buyer) to give advance notification of a new sale or purchase with a penalty up to six months’ imprisonment with forced labor and a fine of up to one million yen for violators. (Abridged)