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Vacant homes in Japan reach record as outlying population shrinks

TOKYO -- A record 13.5% of all homes in Japan were vacant as of last October, reflecting an exodus from outlying regions of the country and a general aversion to previously occupied homes.

     Preliminary figures for a study on homes and land, conducted once every five years, were released on Tuesday by the Internal Affairs Ministry. The vacancy rate rose 0.4 percentage point from the previous survey. The number of empty homes grew by 630,000 to a record 8.2 million, and there were a record 60.63 million homes in all, an increase of 3.05 million.

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