Small towns in Japan apparently have so many vacant homes that they give them away. Of course, free is not really free. If you want one of the homes, then you have to commit to living in it after you invest in rehabbing the property.
Demographics are driving the property giveaway, as Japan has an aging and shrinking population. Rural areas are under pressure as their long-time residents die off and their younger residents move to the cities. Giving away homes is an attempt to stabilize the smaller communities.
Anyone interested in moving to rural Japan? The program is not limited to Japanese citizens.