Frequently Asked Questions

Purchasing land for a public works project does not necessarily mean expropriating land.

Prior to an expropriation procedure, talks usually take place between the public works operator and landowner(s) for a purchase contract. For contract terms and conditions, please speak with the public works operator first.

 
  • How much compensation will I receive?
  • What kinds of compensation will I receive?
  • Will I receive compensation for XX?
  • When will I get my compensation?
  • Until when can I use my property within the planned site of the project?
  • Can I trade land or build a building within the planned site of the project?
  • What is the schedule for the purchase?
  •   
→ Please speak with the public works operator first.

For tax deduction and other tax issues, please contact the tax authorities (e.g. national tax office, metropolitan taxation office).


 
  • Will my compensation be taxed?
  • Can I receive preferential tax treatment?
  • How can I receive preferential tax treatment?
  • What about fixed assets tax?
  •   
→ Please contact the tax authorities.


Table of Contents

About requests for filing for a ruling

Q1: I am a landowner. A land leasehold right holder and I have been unable to reach an agreement with respect to allocation of compensation, so we want to resolve the case through an expropriation procedure. How can we initiate this?
Q2: I am a landlord. My tenant (who has rights as a leaseholder) refuses to vacate the leased property so I want to resolve the case through an expropriation procedure. How can I initiate this?
Q3: I am a tenant. Can I make a request for a filing for a ruling?
Q4: I am a mortgage holder. Can I make a request for a filing for a ruling?
Q5: Where should I submit my request for a filing for a ruling?
Q6: Are fees required to make a request for a filing for a ruling and a request for payment of compensation?
Q7: I am involved in a dispute over land boundaries. Can I resolve this through an expropriation procedure?
Q8: The public works operator asked me to attend the preparation of a land description (object description) and sign and affix my seal to the description. What should I do?
Q9: I attended the preparation of a description. What do I have to do from here?
Q10: What happens if I refuse to attend the preparation of a land description (object description) and to sign and affix my seal to the description?
Q11: What are “filing for a ruling” and “filing for a ruling on surrender”?
Q12: When filing for a ruling is done, does that restrict the use, sale, or other disposition of the land?
Q13: A cooperative that is undertaking a type 1 urban redevelopment project has offered to buy my property, but I am not satisfied with the price. I want to file for a ruling. How can I do that?

About inquiries

Q1: What is an inquiry?
Q2: Where does the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission hold the inquiry?
Q3: Are inquiries open to the public?
Q4: How many times are inquiries held for a case?
Q5: What kinds of questions are asked at an inquiry?
Q6: Is it mandatory to attend an inquiry?
Q7: Are there any ways other than inquiries to express my opinion?
Q8: Can I express my objection to the authorization of the project?
Q9: Does the Expropriation Commission investigate the subject land and objects?

About compensation

Q1: What types of compensation are there?
Q2: What should I do if the estimated compensation by the public works operator cited in the document filed for a ruling (the document filed for a ruling on surrender) is unacceptable to me?
Q3: How does the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission decide on the amount of compensation?
Q4: After a ruling is given, when will I receive the compensation?
Q5: When a mortgage has been taken out on the land to be expropriated, how will the mortgage holder be compensated?
Q6: I want to receive my compensation quickly without waiting for a ruling to be given. Can I do that?
Q7: When is the base date for calculating the amount of compensation?
Q8: Does compensation for a building cover the cost of constructing a new building?

About rulings

Q1: What is a ruling?
Q2: After a filing for a ruling is made, how long does it take for the ruling to be given?
Q3: When will a ruling be given?
Q4: After a filing was made for a ruling, the parties concerned reached an agreement through negotiations. What should we do?
Q5: There is a dispute over rights to the land to be expropriated. In this case, how will a ruling be given?
Q6: If I refuse to receive the written ruling or compensation because I am dissatisfied with the ruling, does that affect the validity of the ruling?
Q7: Are there any remedial measures for those who are dissatisfied with a ruling?

About surrender

Q1: After a ruling is given, by when do I have to relocate the objects on the land?
Q2: Once a ruling on surrender is given, will the buildings and other objects on the land

Other

Q1: Where can I consult about the expropriation system and its procedures?
Q2: How many expropriation cases does the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission handle?
Q3: What is the breakdown of these cases by public works operator?
Q4: What is the breakdown of these cases by project type?
Q5: What kinds of assets can come under a filing for ruling on expropriation and a filing for ruling on use?
Q6: What is the difference between expropriation and use?

About requests for filing for a ruling

Q1: I am a landowner. A land leasehold right holder and I have been unable to reach an agreement with respect to allocation of compensation, so we want to resolve the case through an expropriation procedure. How can we initiate this?

You can request that the public works operator file for a ruling. Both the landowner and the land leasehold right holder can make this request, which is called a “request for a filing for a ruling.” (Article 39, paragraph (2) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)
This request, however, cannot be made for some types of projects, so please check with the public works operator.
For details, click here.

Q2: I am a landlord. My tenant (who has rights as a leaseholder) refuses to vacate the leased property so I want to resolve the case through an expropriation procedure. How can I initiate this?

Rights holders such as landowners and land leasehold right holders can request that the public works operator file for a ruling. (Article 39, paragraph (2) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act) This request, however, cannot be made for some types of projects, so please check with the public works operator.
For details, click here.

Q3: I am a tenant. Can I make a request for a filing for a ruling?

Those eligible to make a request for a filing for a ruling are landowners and interested parties who hold the rights to the subject land. Tenants are not interested parties who hold the rights to the property, so you are not eligible. (Article 39, paragraph (2) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)

Q4: I am a mortgage holder. Can I make a request for a filing for a ruling?

Parties such as mortgage holders and attaching creditors are not eligible to make a request for a filing for a ruling. (Article 39, paragraph (2) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)

Q5: Where should I submit my request for a filing for a ruling?

The request shall be submitted to the public works operator. (Article 39, paragraph (2) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)
For details, click here.

Q6: Are fees required to make a request for a filing for a ruling and a request for payment of compensation?

No fee is required for these requests.

Q7: I am involved in a dispute over land boundaries. Can I resolve this through an expropriation procedure?

The Expropriation Commission determines the boundaries of land for which expropriation is sought, after ascertaining the facts pertaining to the matter. When the Commission cannot determine who holds the rights to the subject property, it can make a ruling without identifying the landowner(s). The Expropriation Commission has no authority to determine the rights of the parties in dispute. (Article 48, paragraphs (4) and (5) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)

Q8: The public works operator asked me to attend the preparation of a land description (object description) and sign and affix my seal to the description. What should I do?

With regard to land for which expropriation is sought and objects on the land, the public works operator is obliged to prepare a land description and object description, which describe the location, size, type, quantity, situation, rights holders, and other information on the land and objects on it. The public works operator shall investigate the situation and rights holders of the land and objects, describe them in the descriptions, and sign and affix the seal to the descriptions. Landowners and/or interested parties shall attend the preparation of the descriptions, examine the contents, and sign and affix their seals to the descriptions. If there is any objection to the contents, landowners and/or interested parties shall write this down on the descriptions and then sign and affix their seals to them. (Article 36 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)
For details, click here.

Q9: I attended the preparation of a description. What do I have to do from here?

After the public works operator files for a ruling and/or a ruling on surrender, the Commission will send notice to you. (Articles 42 and 47-4 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.) After that, you will have the opportunity to submit written opinions and reference materials and/or attend an inquiry to express your opinion. The Secretariat to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission will give you notice prior to each step of the process. The Expropriation Commission will make a ruling based on information such as statements of all parties concerned and the results of an on-site investigation and appraisal.
For the flow of an expropriation procedure, click here.

Q10: What happens if I refuse to attend the preparation of a land description (object description) and to sign and affix my seal to the description?

The acts of attending, signing, and affixing a seal are for landowners and/or interested parties to read the description prepared by the public works operator and confirm whether its contents are consistent with their understanding.
Landowners and interested parties who find the contents of a description to be untrue can write down their objections on the description and then sign and affix their seal.
The contents of the description are presumed to be true and become legal evidence. However, this does not apply to matters subject to objection, making it possible to dispute the validity of the description’s contents in the inquiry that follows.
If the landowners and/or interested parties refuse to attend the preparation of the description and to sign and affix their seal, or do not do so for some reason, the public works operator shall request that the mayor of the local ward/city/town/village do so on their behalf. The contents of a description that was prepared this way are also presumed to be true. Therefore, if you refuse to attend the preparation of a description, or to sign and affix your seal, and do not write your objections, you shall be unable to express your objection concerning the truth of the description except when you can prove that the contents are untrue. (Articles 36 and 38 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)

Q11: What are “filing for a ruling” and “filing for a ruling on surrender”?

Filing for a ruling is done by a public works operator seeking to acquire the ownership of land or to establish the right to use land. A land description must be attached to the filing. Filing for a ruling on surrender is done by a public works operator seeking to have objects on land relocated and to have the land surrendered to it. An object description must be attached to the filing. These two types of filings are usually done at the same time. (Articles 39 and 47-3 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)
The mayor of the municipality where the land is located shall give public notice that such a filing was made, and make the filed documents available for public inspection (for two weeks). (Articles 42 and 47-4 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)

Q12: When filing for a ruling is done, does that restrict the use, sale, or other disposition of the land?

Filing for a ruling per se does not restrict the use, sale, or other disposition of the land. However, in the prior stage of the expropriation procedure, when public notification is given that the project has been authorized to be eligible for expropriation and use, or that the city planning project has obtained approval (permission) pursuant to the City Planning Act, restrictions are places such as on changes to the form or nature of the land. (Article 28-3 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act) As a general rule, those who acquired the land through purchase or other means after the decision to begin expropriation ruling proceedings has been recorded on the property register (excluding those who inherited the land) are not recognized as parties subject to the expropriation procedure. Landowners and interested parties as of the date on which the decision was recorded are subject to the procedure. (Article 45-3 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)

Q13: A cooperative that is undertaking a type 1 urban redevelopment project has offered to buy my property, but I am not satisfied with the price. I want to file for a ruling. How can I do that?

Filing for a ruling on the value of original assets (land, buildings, land leasehold rights, or other properties within the project area) is called “shisan kagaku jiken (asset value case).” If a rights holder submitted a written opinion during the period in which a rights exchange plan is made available for public inspection, and the opinion was not accepted, the rights holder can file for a ruling on the asset value within 30 days from the day notification of non-acceptance of the opinion was received. (Article 85, paragraph (1) of the Urban Renewal Act)
Filing for a ruling on the amount of compensation for losses associated with surrender of land is called “sonshitsu hosho jiken (case for compensation for losses).” For this type of case, if the executor of the project and those who suffered losses fail to reach an agreement through negotiation, they can file for a ruling. (Article 97, paragraph (4) of the Urban Renewal Act, Article 94, paragraph (2) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)
For details, click here.

About inquiries

Q1: What is an inquiry?

An Expropriation Commission holds an inquiry to hear from parties concerned about matters necessary to make a ruling. (Article 46 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)
At the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission, inquiries are, in principle, conducted by a designated commission member.
For details, click here.

Q2: Where does the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission hold the inquiry?

Inquiries usually take place at the Commission’s inquiry room on the 41st floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government No. 1 Building’s southern tower.
Some inquiries, however, are held in other places, for reasons such as the involvement of a large number of rights holders.

Q3: Are inquiries open to the public?

Inquiries are in principle open to the public. However, the Commission may keep an inquiry closed when there is a risk that the impartiality of the inquiry will be compromised by making it public.
At inquiries by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission, it is in principle prohibited to take photos or videos or record audio. (Article 62 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, Article 12 of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission Regulations, etc.)

Q4: How many times are inquiries held for a case?

There are no legal requirements about how many inquiries should be held.
As claims are sorted out in advance based on written opinions submitted by the parties concerned, most of the cases handled by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission have required only one inquiry.

Q5: What kinds of questions are asked at an inquiry?

A designated commission member will ask each party concerned about their opinions on such matters as: the area of land; compensation for land; compensation for surrendering properties other than land, such as buildings; and the timing of the acquisition of rights and the time limit for surrender.

Q6: Is it mandatory to attend an inquiry?

You are not obliged to attend an inquiry, but it is desirable that you attend as much as possible, given that it is an opportunity to voice your opinion directly to a designated commission member. If it is difficult for you to attend, you can instead have someone else attend by proxy or submit a written opinion in advance so your opinion will be heard. (For more information about the submission of a written opinion, see the following Q7.) (Article 136 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)

Q7: Are there any ways other than inquiries to express my opinion?

You can submit a written opinion during the period in which copies of the filed documents are made available for public inspection at the municipality where the land is located. For details, click here. (Article 43, paragraph (1) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)
However, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission, in principle, accepts written opinions until the end of the inquiry process.

Q8: Can I express my objection to the authorization of the project?

In submitting a written opinion or expressing your opinion orally at an inquiry, you are not allowed to describe anything unrelated to the inquiry by the Expropriation Commission, including objection to the project authorization. (Article 63, paragraph (3) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)
For more information about authorization of projects, click here.

Q9: Does the Expropriation Commission investigate the subject land and objects?

The Expropriation Commission can investigate the subject land and objects when it deems it necessary.
Such an investigation is usually done by a designated commission member or a staff member of the Secretariat to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission. Those conducting an investigation shall carry their ID with them and present it when requested. (Article 65 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)

About compensation

Q1: What types of compensation are there?

Roughly, there are two types of compensation: “compensation for land” in a ruling on rights acquisition and “compensation for non-land assets” in a ruling on surrender.
“Compensation for land” includes land compensation, compensation for termination of rights (e.g. land leasehold right), remaining land compensation, and compensation in the form of alternative land. (Articles 71, 72, 74, and 82 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)
“Compensation for non-land assets” includes compensation for relocation costs and compensation for ordinary losses. For the former, usually, the cost of relocating any buildings or other objects on the land to be expropriated is compensated. As for the latter, losses that can be objectively deemed as ordinary losses resulting from expropriation are compensated. (Articles 77 and 88 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)

Q2: What should I do if the estimated compensation by the public works operator cited in the document filed for a ruling (the document filed for a ruling on surrender) is unacceptable to me?

Landowners and interested parties can submit a written opinion expressing their objection to the estimation by the public works operator.
In principle, they can submit opinions during the (two-week) period in which copies of documents filed for a ruling are made available for public inspection. (Article 43, paragraph (1) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act) However, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission, in principle, accepts not only opinions on compensation for losses, but all written opinions, until the end of the inquiry process.

Q3: How does the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission decide on the amount of compensation?

For compensation for land, when deemed necessary based on arguments by the parties concerned and the results of an on-site investigation, the Expropriation Commission has a real estate appraiser estimate the land value, and then considers and decides (approves) the amount of compensation.
As for compensation for non-land assets, when deemed necessary based on arguments by the parties concerned and the results of an on-site investigation, the Expropriation Commission has a compensation consultant estimate compensation, and then considers and decides (approves) the amount of compensation. (Article 65 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)

Q4: After a ruling is given, when will I receive the compensation?

When a ruling on rights acquisition is given, the time of the rights acquisition is determined. The public works operator shall pay compensation for land by that time.
When a ruling on surrender is given, the time limit for surrender is determined. The public works operator shall pay compensation for surrender, such as building relocation costs, by that time. (Articles 95 and 97 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)

Q5: When a mortgage has been taken out on the land to be expropriated, how will the mortgage holder be compensated?

Compensation for the mortgage holder is usually included in compensation for the landowner, because it is difficult to separately estimate the amounts to be paid to different parties. (Article 69 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)

Q6: I want to receive my compensation quickly without waiting for a ruling to be given. Can I do that?

Landowners and some of the interested parties can request the public works operator for payment of compensation for land and receive, before the ruling, the estimated amount of compensation. However, there are detailed rules on the timing of receiving compensation, so please check with the public works operator who will be making the payment. (Article 46-2 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)

Q7: When is the base date for calculating the amount of compensation?

For the base date for calculating compensation for land, please refer to the “price base date” section of the glossary.
Compensation for non-land assets is calculated based on the time of the ruling on surrender. (Articles 71 and 73 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)

Q8: Does compensation for a building cover the cost of constructing a new building?

It does not necessarily cover the cost of constructing a new building.
The current value of the building at the time of the ruling on surrender, which takes wear and tear due to aging into consideration, will be compensated. The amount will be calculated by multiplying the cost of constructing a new building by the rebuilding compensation rate.

About rulings

Q1: What is a ruling?

A ruling is the final judgment given by the Expropriation Commission. It is given in the form of a document called a written ruling. The Commission gives the ruling based on opinions expressed by the parties concerned and what they argued at the inquiry, as well as the results of its investigation, which is conducted when deemed necessary.
Types of rulings include rulings on rights acquisition (response to a filing for a ruling) and rulings on surrender (response to a filing for a ruling on surrender). (Articles 48 and 49 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)
For details, click here.

Q2: After a filing for a ruling is made, how long does it take for the ruling to be given?

It depends on the particular circumstances of each case. The Commission aims to give a ruling within 10 months for regular cases, but it may take longer in such cases as those involving a large number of rights holders.
For data over the past five years on the number of days taken until a ruling, click here.

Q3: When will a ruling be given?

There is no single answer for this question, as the timing for a ruling depends on the particular circumstances of each case.

Q4: After a ruling is given, when will I receive the compensation?

When a ruling on rights acquisition is given, the time of the rights acquisition is determined. The public works operator shall pay compensation for land by that time.
When a ruling on surrender is given, the time limit for surrender is determined. The public works operator shall pay compensation for surrender, such as building relocation costs, by that time. (Articles 95 and 97 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)

Q5: There is a dispute over rights to the land to be expropriated. In this case, how will a ruling be given?

The Expropriation Commission on its own responsibility gives a ruling after ascertaining the facts pertaining to the matter.
However, because the Expropriation Commission has no authority to determine the rights of parties in dispute, when it cannot determine who holds the rights to the subject property, it can make a ruling with the landowners and other rights holders unknown. (Article 48, paragraph (4) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)

Q6: If I refuse to receive the written ruling or compensation because I am dissatisfied with the ruling, does that affect the validity of the ruling?

Even if you refuse to receive the written ruling or compensation, if proceedings designated under law, such as the serving of the written ruling and depositing of the compensation, have been taken, the ruling and compensation shall be deemed to have been served and paid according to law, and your refusal will not affect the validity of the ruling. Therefore, you must still fulfill your obligation to relocate any buildings and/or other objects and surrender the land to the public works operator by the time limit specified in the ruling. (Article 4 of the Order for Enforcement of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act; Article 66, paragraph (3) and Article 95, paragraph (2) of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)

Q7: Are there any remedial measures for those who are dissatisfied with a ruling?

Those who are dissatisfied with a ruling by the Expropriation Commission can bring a lawsuit or file an objection.
Those who are dissatisfied with compensation for their losses can file a “public law-related action,” and those who are dissatisfied with other matters can file a “request for review” or an “action for the judicial review of an administrative disposition.” (Article 129 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.) For details, click here.

About surrender

Q1: After a ruling is given, by when do I have to relocate the objects on the land?

The time limit for surrender is determined in the ruling on surrender, so you must relocate the objects on the land by that time. (Article 102 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)

Q2: Once a ruling on surrender is given, will the buildings and other objects on the land to be expropriated be demolished immediately?

When a ruling on surrender is made, the tine limit for surrender is determined with consideration given to how long it will take to relocate any buildings, structures, trees and/or other objects. The land must be surrendered to the public works operator by that time.
If the rights holder does not surrender the property by the time limit for surrender even though a ruling on surrender has been given and the public works operator has completed payment of compensation, the operator can make a request to the prefectural governor for surrender to be executed by proxy. (Articles 97 and 102-2 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, etc.)
At the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, proceedings by substitute execution are under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Finance’s Property Administration Division (Phone: 03-5388-2694) (assistance in Japanese only).

Other

Q1: Where can I consult about the expropriation system and its procedures?

There is a consultation and support center within the Secretariat to Expropriation Commission. You can contact the center at 03-5320-7054 (assistance in Japanese only).

Q2: How many expropriation cases does the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission handle?

In fiscal 2016, the Commission handled 93 cases.

Q3: What is the breakdown of these cases by public works operator?

In fiscal 2016, the operator of 53 of the cases was the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, 13 municipalities, and 27 other entities, including the central government and redevelopment cooperatives.

Q4: What is the breakdown of these cases by project type?

In fiscal 2016, there were 80 road projects, 4 redevelopment projects (type 1 and type 2), and 9 projects for parks and others.

Q5: What kinds of assets can come under a filing for ruling on expropriation and a filing for ruling on use?

You can file for a ruling on expropriation of land; rights such as a land leasehold right; trees, buildings and other objects; and soil, sand, and stones; and a ruling on use of land; rights such as a land leasehold right; and trees, buildings and other objects. (Articles 2, 5, 6, and 7 of the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act)

Q6: What is the difference between expropriation and use?

Acquiring property rights over land (or other assets) for specified public works projects (projects carried out in the public interest) upon just compensation, regardless of the intent of the rights holder(s), is called “expropriation.” Establishing a right to use land (or other property) is called “use.”