TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s land prices in 2023 rose at the fastest pace since comparable data available in 2010, the tax agency said on Monday, suggesting a recovery gathered pace helped by brisk tourism after the coronavirus pandemic.

Average land prices climbed 2.3% last year, rising for the third straight year, a National Tax Agency survey showed, extending gains from a 1.5% increase in 2022 and a 0.5% rise in 2021.

Land prices rose in 29 out of the 47 prefectures nationwide including Tokyo, northern Hokkaido and southern Okinawa, the survey found. The number was up from the previous year’s 25 prefectures. Prices fell in 16 prefectures, down from 20 prefectures in 2022, it showed.

With solid demand for both housing and commercial land, Fukuoka prefecture marked the biggest rise of 5.8%, according to the survey.

Redevelopment projects supported office demand in Fukuoka. Also the recovery in tourism buoyed demand for hotels and restaurants there.

The return of foreign visitors after the pandemic helped a plot in Tokyo’s plush Ginza shopping area to remain the most expensive location in Japan for the 39th straight year, the survey showed.

The price of the plot in Ginza climbed 3.6% in 2023, up for two straight years, to 44.2 million yen ($274,705) per square metre.

The nation had more than 3 million visitors for a third straight month in May as the weak yen helped a record pace for inbound tourism, data from the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) showed.[FRX/]

Last year, Japan received about 25 million foreign visitors, after the number hit the record of 31.9 million in 2019.

The tax agency assesses land prices as of Jan. 1 every year to calculate inheritance and gift taxes on properties acquired in that year.

($1 = 160.9000 yen)

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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