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Property

Japan's 'ghost houses' given second life as rural towns fight blight

Small communities roll out red carpet for new residents to fill 8m abandoned homes

An empty house in Kawaguchiko: the Yamanashi Prefecture town has seen some of the biggest decreases in the number of empty homes in Japan. (Photo by Takanori Tani)

TOKYO -- Local governments in Japan have been luring people to take ownership of the country's more than 8 million abandoned homes through a host of incentives, including millions of yen in renovation grants, new zoning laws and even giving away the structures for free. 

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