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The quality resort environment of Karuizawa is a precious asset of Japan.
= Declaration of the Karuizawa Method for Condominiums =

Our town Karuizawa was introduced by a Canadian-born missionary, Alexander Croft Shaw, in 1930 as a summer resort to regions both at home and abroad. For the past 115 years since its introduction, Karuizawa has grown as an international health resort with its rich green environment and wonderful culture inherited from its many forefathers, while having overcome numerous challenges at times. It also continues to grow as an international tourist town of goodwill and culture sustained by both the resort house owners' deep insight and the town residents' desire to nurture the community.
Also, the resort of Karuizawa has created a unique landscape that we are proud to show to the world, where the rich culture, abundant nature and low buildings are blended.

The Nagano Shinkansen (Hokuriku Shinkansen) was opened in October 1997, which enabled quicker distant commutations to Tokyo as well as facilitation of the interchange of goods and people. Accordingly, the demand for condominiums increased in the areas centering around Karuizawa Station, which is responsible for the incredibly high speed of construction and development rush of condominiums, despite recent economic stagnation in Japan.

The citizens and resort house owners strongly urge that the quality resort environment of Karuizawa, a valuable asset of Japan, would be disrupted if we pursue a shortsighted profit, ignoring this harmonious landscape especially at this time when condos throughout Japan face problems of total refurbishment. In response to these strong voices, we amended the Summary of Nature Conservation Measures (hereinafter "Summary") and the Gist of Nature Conservation Measures Management (hereinafter "Gist") to be practiced from January 1, 2002. Under these amendments, condominiums shall not be higher than two stories not only in the first-class exclusive residential district for low buildings but also in the first class residential district. Also, in cases where condominiums with more than 20 units are constructed, each unit shall be required to be more than 110u in area and one complex building shall have less than 20 units.

With regard to the projects that have already been filed at the town authority, Summary and Gist will not apply. However, impacts incurred by condominiums to the surrounding environment are extremely big, and the existing Summary sets consensual understanding from residents as a premise. Therefore, we hereby strongly call for an appropriate and discreet manner toward condo-construction projects that are exempt from the application of the above amended regulations for the sake of conservation of this excellent resort environment which we take pride in.

We, the town residents of Karuizawa, urge contractors that try to abuse Karuizawa's precious environment for the construction of condominiums to have corporate responsibility and high ethics that deserve this environment.

We declare "the quality resort environment of Karuizawa is a precious asset of Japan," in order to hand over this environment that we have enjoyed for more than 100 years to the following 200 years. We earnestly hope that the condominium projects that have already been filed will be reviewed in consideration of Karuizawa's superb landscape that has been nurtured by people and beautiful nature itself, and will be constructed within two stories in accordance with the amended Summary and Gist requirements.

December 11, 2001

Masayoshi Sato
Town Mayor of Karuizawa

Yasuo Tanaka
Governor of Nagano Prefecture
Witness in Approbation


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