Overview of Expropriation

About Expropriation

Land Expropriation

Public works projects, which are carried out in the public interest, sometimes require land acquisition. In such a case, the necessary property is, in principle, acquired through a negotiated purchase contract.

As such purchases, however, require the consent of the seller(s) who hold(s) the rights to the subject property, this means that if the rights holder(s) do(es) not agree to the sale, it becomes impossible to proceed with the project.

Therefore, under the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act, there is a procedure called land expropriation, which makes land acquisition possible regardless of the intent of the rights holder(s) when the acquisition is essential for a public works project.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission works for the prompt processing of expropriation cases so that public works operators engaged in urban development and rights holders, including landowners, can use the expropriation procedure to quickly settle their issues. The Commission aims to have the entire process—from the filing of the case to the ruling—completed within 10 months, with the exception of complicated cases, such as those involving a large number of rights holders.

Expropriation Commissions

An Expropriation Commission is established in each prefecture of Japan in accordance with the Compulsory Purchase of Land Act. It is an administrative commission delegated with the power to make decisions from a fair and impartial perspective in order to reconciliate conflicts between public interest and private property rights.

An Expropriation Commission is made up of seven members. The prefectural governor appoints the commission members from among those with experience and knowledge on law, economy, and public administration upon approval by the prefectural assembly. Although commission members are appointed by the governor, an Expropriation Commission performs its duties independently of the governor, prefectural assembly, and other bodies.