For a number of reasons, it has been an interesting week. I was contacted at the start of the week by a friend and customer who asked about North Korea and my safety! Global media has to sell content, papers, videos, new stories you name it every media outlet out there has to see. So we saw the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, to name a few all leaping on the recent North Korean missile launch. Of course living in Japan we are well aware of our unfriendly Northern neighbours, the threat has been there a very long time.
History of hostility
The Korean War ended in July 1953, over 60 years ago. And began a period of isolation for North Korea or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. There have been several occasions during the past 60 years where tensions have boiled up. However, in recent history, we have been blessed with a level headed sensible US president that helped keep the six parties talking and away from the edge. Today we do not have such a sensible President and that is perhaps the biggest most worrisome change.
North Korea started its missile program in 1976 and successfully test fired their first missile 8 years later in 1984. These were relatively short range scud missiles. The situation changed dramatically in 1998 when North Korea fired a long range missile over Aomori, the most north prefecture in Honshu – Japan’s main Island. It landed safely in the sea but put Japan on edge. Since then there have been 4 more successful launches in 2009, 2012, 2016 and most recently last week. What has the World watching is Kim Jong-un’s desire to hit Guam and of course Donald Trump’s response. Whatever you think about either character, they hold a lot of power over many millions of people in the Asia Pacific region.
Are we worried?
Well yes and no. Tensions have certainly increased since the US election last year. But has much changed? There is an obvious increase in posturing on both sides but we believe sense will prevail and life will continue in very much the same way it has for the past 60 years.
The outlook for Japan?
In a word, unchanged. There is more inbound tourism than ever before. Unphased by the missiles, tourists come in droves buying everything they can and enjoying all that Japan has to offer. Preparations for the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Olympics in 2020 are well underway, building new sites and increasing the jobs for locals and expats alike. Property prices in Tokyo continue to rise, in turn, pulling up secondary markets. Immigration is on the increase bringing an increased labor force to the country.
Unphased and moving on
We remain very optimistic about Japanese property and continue to work on customer requests from around the World. Japanese real estate continues to offer honest and solid returns and JPI is in the thick of things. Across the border, in North Korea, the market seems buoyant too. This article caught my eye this week showing how prices in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea are on the up despite private buying and selling of property being “strictly banned”. It is interesting that even in the most isolated country in the World, the residents that can look to property to invest in. If you would like to know more about the Korean situation or investing in Japanese Properties for great returns, contact Japan Property Investments today.