Monetary policy superstar Shinzo Abe, prime minister of Japan, is going even harder after the Matt Yglesias vote with this reform proposal:
Soon, our deregulation package will be set in motion. Over the next two years, in designated areas, no vested interests will remain impervious. For example, in Japanese cities aspiring to world-class status, limits on floor space will become a thing of the past. We will soon see high-quality housing, business complexes, and zero-emissions towns appearing, one after another.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know much about Japanese housing policy so it’s difficult for me to say how big a deal this will be in practice. Japan already has very dense cities and a falling population, so this reform is probably less necessary than in a country like the United States or France or the United Kingdom. That said, I believe the typical Japanese dwelling is quite small so upzoning could do a lot to improve quality of life.