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Japanese suburbs are the polar opposites of NYC--empty

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Tokyo may be brimming with activity, but in some Japanese suburbs, it's apparently a different story. Just a train or car commute away from the city, the population—and buyer interest—has dipped so that houses and apartments are left behind simply abandoned, according to a recent New York Times story describing a real estate market the likes of which current New Yorkers have never seen before.

"These ghost homes are the most visible sign of human retreat in a country where the population peaked a half-decade ago and is forecast to fall by a third over the next 50 years," says the article. It's a problem that "is now spreading through regional cities and the suburbs of major metropolises." One real estate expert, Tomohiko Makino, told the paper:"Tokyo could end up being surrounded by Detroits."

Read more here, and to see photos of an increasingly deserted Yokosuka.

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