This chapter analyses Japan’s housing system in relation to welfare regime and comparative housing system theories. Esping-Andersen has classifi ed welfare regimes into three types: liberal, conservative and social democratic (1990, 1996, 1999). The welfare situation in Japan, however, is known to be diffi cult to classify in terms of this typology. In the fi eld of comparative housing system theory, Kemeny, focusing on the place of social renting in the housing market, identifi es two types of housing systems: the dualist rental system and the unitary rental market (Kemeny, 1995, 2001). Here again, however, the Japanese situation presents an anomalous case, essentially showing the features of the dualist system but not fully consistent with it.