Housing discrimination is still a problem in Japan

 Housing discrimination is still a problem in Japan

This is the final entry in a three-part series on housing for foreign residents in Japan.

By the most recent statistics — as well as by an overwhelming evidence of lived experience — landlords refuse non-Japanese renters in large numbers.

These prospective tenants are thus subject to a longer, more exhausting and potentially much more expensive rental application process. A 2016 government survey showed that a massive 40% of respondents had been rejected for rental housing because they were not Japanese. According to the Ichii Group real estate agency, almost nine out of 10 private housing units in Tokyo do not allow foreign tenants. So why is housing discrimination in Japan so widespread? And has the situation improved at all in the past few years?

The landlord’s perspective

First, it’s important to dig into why housing discrimination is such a problem in Japan. The basis lies in Japan’s powerful laws that…

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