Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Abandoned Homes Haunt Japanese Neighborhoods

Ghost towns are coming as the population ages and shrinks
Abandoned house in Kita Ward, Tokyo

Abandoned house in Kita Ward, Tokyo


Population decline in Japan is so serious that parts of the country may be ghost towns in less than 20 years.

More than 8 million homes are already empty, and that number may reach 21.5 million by 2033, or about one-third of the nation's housing stock, Nomura Research Institute forecasts.