The average land price in Japan as of Jan. 1 was up 0.5 percent from a year earlier, the National Tax Agency said Friday, rebounding from a fall in 2021 as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

While 20 of the country's 47 prefectures saw increases, 13 more than in 2021, prices continued to fall in others, especially tourist and commercial areas hit by diminished inbound travel.

Photo taken June 23, 2022, shows Japan's most expensive plot in front of Kyukyodo stationery store in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district. (Kyodo)

The price of roadside land as of Jan. 1, 2021, was down 0.5 percent on average from a year earlier, largely due to the disappearance of foreign visitors amid tighter border controls to stem the spread of COVID-19.

This year, land prices on the northern main island of Hokkaido were up 4.0 percent, the highest among the 47 prefectures, aided by redevelopment in the capital Sapporo.

Fukuoka and Miyazaki prefectures in southwestern Japan saw increases of 3.6 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, with high demand in the former for office buildings.

Tokyo as well as Aichi, Osaka and Hiroshima prefectures also saw land prices rebound.

In contrast, 27 prefectures saw price declines, with the biggest in Wakayama at 1.3 percent, though many of the contractions were smaller than in the previous year.

Meanwhile, 15 prefectural capitals saw land price increases, with prime locations in the city of Chiba and Sapporo rising at 5.1 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, boosted by ongoing or planned redevelopment projects nearby.

Sixteen prefectural capitals logged lower land prices, affected by declines in the number of inbound travelers and residents, although the total figure was down six from a year earlier. Land prices remained at the same level in sixteen prefectural capitals.

The biggest price drop for a prefectural capital was 5.8 percent at Sannomiya Center Gai shopping street in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, usually popular with tourists.

Meanwhile, the most expensive plot in Japan for the 37th year was in front of Kyukyodo stationery store in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district.

It was appraised at 42.24 million yen ($311,000) per square meter, down 1.1 percent from the year before, but the decline was far less than the 7 percent fall in government data for 2021.

As in previous years, no values were assigned for land in areas designated as evacuation zones in Fukushima Prefecture following the 2011 nuclear disaster, because of difficulties appraising them.

The tax agency's annual survey of prices per 1 sq. meter of land facing major roads as of Jan. 1 is used to calculate inheritance and gift taxes. It is based on land price data compiled by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and reflects land transactions.

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