This section is from the book "Practical Real Estate Methods For Broker, Operator & Owner", by Thirty Experts. Also available from Amazon: Practical Real Estate Methods for Broker, Operator, Owner.
Land in Japan may be condemned for military purposes, public works, railways, tramways, or for any public purpose decided upon by the imperial or local governments. In all cases, except condemnation for military purposes, the project must bear the approval of the Imperial Cabinet.
After approval by the Cabinet, public notice of the condemnation is given by the imperial government and by the governor of the prefecture in which the condemned site is situated. This notice gives a description of the premises, and the purpose for which they are to be condemned. Special private notice is also given to the owner and to interested parties by the governor, and an opportunity for private negotiation is allowed. If a private settlement cannot be reached, the case is brought before a committee composed of the governor of the prefecture (chairman), three higher civilian officials and three members of the Honorary Prefectural Council.* This committee has full power to decide upon the boundaries of the site, the compensation therefor and the time and terms of evacuation and possession. Appeal may be had to the Home Minister, who has general supervisory control over all condemnation proceedings. In cases where a claim of illegality of procedure or jeopardizing of rights is made, the cause may be brought before the Administrative Court.** Claims for compensation different from that awarded by the committee may be brought before the Justice Court.†
The procedure in condemning land for military purposes is much simpler. The Minister for War notifies the governor of the prefecture that a certain site is to be condemned, and the governor in turn notifies the owner and interested parties. The compensation, extent of the site and time of evacuation and possession are all decided by the Minister for War.
*Governors of Prefectures are appointed by the Emperor. "Higher Civilian Officials" are civil prefectural officials appointed by the Imperial Government at Tokyo. "Members of the Honorary Prefectural Council" are members of the Prefectural Assembly (which is elected by what is called popular vote) who are also members of the Governor's Council, a body composed of the Higher Civilian Officials, and some members of the Assembly.
**The Administrative Court corresponds somewhat roughly to our Court of Claims.
†The Justice Court is much the same thing as the Circuit Court in Michigan, the Supreme Court in New York - in fact, a "Court of Justice."
In case a condemned site becomes unnecessary for the purpose for which it was condemned, it may, if a period of twenty years has not elapsed, be purchased by the former owner or his heirs at the condemnation price.
Bribery in connection with condemnation proceedings is punishable by fine and imprisonment of all parties concerned.