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Land prices outside Japan's main cities see first rise in 26 years

Negative interest rates and an increase in foreign visitors are driving demand

Tokyo's posh Ginza district: Land prices throughout Japan were pushed higher by redevelopment projects and an increase in foreign visitors.

TOKYO -- Land prices in Japan rose for the third straight year in 2017, with areas outside major cities registering their first increase in 26 years, as some see asset deflation finally reversing, helped by negative interest rates and a surge in foreign visitors pushing up demand. 

The average price of land for commercial, industrial and residential use across the country rose in 2017, according to a land price survey released Tuesday by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry. The average price outside the three biggest metropolitan areas rose for the first time in 26 years by 0.041%, indicating that the upward trend is spreading from larger cities to wider regions.

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