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14% of Kyoto city's housing stock is abandoned.
A generation ago, in 1978, the figure was just 3.8%.
The reasons are many for empty houses: high inheritance taxes, younger people moving away (often to Tokyo) for work who do not want to deal with their parents' house after the old folks pass away, the high cost of renovations/rebuilding, etc.
It is a source of many problems, including arson, vandalism, rat infestations, and danger from collapse.
The city is now handing out subsidies of up to 900,000 yen ($7500) to help refurbish homes.
Source: Shimin Shinbun
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