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Housing and Land Survey

Outline of the 2008 Survey

1.Purpose and History of the Survey

The Housing and Land Survey is the most fundamental statistical survey conducted on housing conditions in order to acquire basic data for formulating various housing-related policy measures, by investigating the actual conditions of dwellings and other occupied buildings, and the inhabiting households thereof in our country to clarify the present circumstances and trends for the whole country, major metropolitan areas, and prefectures.
The Basic Act for Housing was promulgated and enforced in 2006 as the basis of future housing policy, and it was decided to fully change the focus of subsequent housing policy from "securing the quantity" to "enhancing the quality" of dwellings. In view of these developments, the 2008 Survey placed special emphasis on investigating the actual conditions regarding the refurbishment of dwellings and grasping the facts related to the quality of dwellings, including the levels of earthquake-resistant and fireproof construction, security, and other aspects of the dwellings.
The Housing and Land Survey has been conducted since 1998 in succeeding the former Housing Survey, which had been conducted every five years since 1948, based on revised survey contents. The 2008 Survey marks the thirteenth of its kind.

2.Legal Basis of the Survey

The 2008 Housing and Land Survey was conducted in compliance with the Statistics Law (Law No.18 of 1947) and Housing Survey Regulations (Prime Minister's Office Order No.41 of 1982).
*)The 2008 Housing and Land Survey shifts to "Fundamental Statistical Survey" based on total effected Statistical Law in the spring of 2009.

3. Date of the Survey

The 2008 Housing and Land Survey was conducted as of October 1, 2008.

4. Area Coverage of the Survey

In the 2008 Housing and Land Survey, about one-fifth of the enumeration districts of the 2005 Population Census on a national average was sampled, and approximately 210,000 unit districts (hereinafter referred to as "enumeration unit districts") were selected from among those demarcated in the enumeration districts as of February 1, 2008.

5. Universe of the Survey

The universe of the Survey included dwellings, other occupied buildings, and all the households inhabiting those dwellings and buildings located in the enumeration unit districts as of the survey date (17 dwellings per unit district, totaling about 3,500,000 dwellings/households). The following facilities and the households living there were excluded from enumeration:

(1) Facilities and dwellings managed by diplomatic establishments and other authorized foreign or international agencies, where foreign envoys, consular officials, and their dependents (including families) live

(2) Facilities deemed to be Imperial property under management of the Imperial Household Agency

(3) Jails, prisons, reformatories, detention homes, women's shelters, and illegal immigrant detention centers

(4) Camps and other facilities of the Self-Defense Forces

(5) Camps and other facilities used by the U.S. Army

6. Topics to be Investigated

By using Questionnaires A and B that were distributed to households, and Building Survey sheets filled out by the enumerators, the 2008 Housing and Land Survey investigated the following topics:

Topics Investigated in all unit districts in common

(1)On buildings

a.Number and area of dwelling rooms (in number of tatami units)
b.Tenure of dwelling
c.Site area
d.Tenure of site

(2)On dwellings

a.Construction material
b.Situation of dilapidation
c.Stories of building
d.Type of building
e.Type of dwelling
f.Sutuation of house / ground rent
g.Year of construction
h.Area of floor space
i.Building area
j.Situation of facilities
k.Situation of enlargement or remodeling, or refurbishing work
l.Type of dwellings without any occupants

(3)On households

a.Name of head or representative of household
b.Type of household
c.Number of household members
d.Annual income of household

(4)On main earner or head of household

a.Employment status
b.Commuting time
c.Year of last relocation
d.Previous residence
e.Son or daughter living in different households

(5)On dwelling environment

Topics Investigated in unit districts for Questionnaire B only

(6)On housing and land other than the present residence

a.Tenure of housing and land

7. Method of the Survey

(1)Administrative organization

The Survey was planned and administered by the Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), through the following sequence: Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications → Governor of each prefecture → Mayor of each municipality (city, town or village) → Supervisors → Enumerators → Households surveyed.

(2)Method of Survey

a.The enumerators checked all the dwellings and other occupied buildings within their assigned enumeration unit districts for the 2008 Housing and Land Survey. They drafted lists of households in the survey and maps of their enumeration unit districts, and delivered a questionnaire to each selected household during the period from September 23 to 30, 2008.
At the beginning of October, the enumerators revisited all selected households in their districts to collect the completed questionnaires and check the entries.

b.One questionnaire (A or B) was distributed in each enumeration unit district. Questionnaires A and B were allocated at random to individual enumeration unit districts at the ratio of 6 to 1 on average.

c.Questionnaires were completed by the head (or representative) of the household, while some parts were filled out by the enumerator during an interview. For vacant dwellings, the enumerators completed their sections of the questionnaire (except for "type of household") by investigating the exterior of the dwelling.


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