A poorly explained and draconian new law demanding tougher earthquake-proofing of new buildings has triggered an unprecedented slump in Japan’s construction market and may push the country into technical recession. The Times.

The new building rules – rushed inafter a scandal over faked quake-resistance data – have created a crisis for commercial, residential and public works construction projects across Japan.

Housing starts in Japan fell by 44% in September, continuing a slump that began with a 43% fall in August.

Commercial building starts collapsed by about 25% in September as the new law and a lack of information caused confusion among construction companies.