- November 1, 2011: Vol. 5, Number 10

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On the Road to Recovery: The March Disasters Affected Japan’s Economy and Real Estate Markets, but the Country Has Largely Returned to Normal Service

by Tom Mills

The 9.0 magnitude East Japan Great Earthquake that occurred on 11 March 2011, 373 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, was the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900. A massive tsunami that followed the earthquake caused tremendous damage as well as a crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station near the coast in northern Japan that is not yet fully resolved. Approximately 20,000 people are dead or missing, and tens of thousands remain in shelters six months after the disaster. The Tohoku region of northern Honshu accounted for only 6.4 percent of the nation’s GDP, but the combination of disasters affected the economy of the entire nation through the damage to supply chains, reduced consumer spending and expected electricity shortages. The impact of this disaster has been felt throughout the world.

In the short term, the disaster had negative consequences and any expected recovery in real estate market conditions was postponed. Even

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