REAL ESTATE: A Yen for a Hunk of Hawaii

A Yen for a Hunk of Hawaii

Hawaii Seafood Magnate Richard Fowler did not hesitate when a Japanese company offered him $21 million two months ago for his Honolulu mansion. Naturally, he took it. The house was assessed two years ago at $2.6 million. Aided by the sharp decline of the dollar against the yen, the Japanese have spent some $3 billion for Hawaiian real estate in the past two years, more than all foreign investment in the state between 1959 and 1986.

Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi wants to put a stop to it. He has called for a state law banning most foreign ownership of residential and...

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