Ex-Container project is a joint effort to deal with the widespread displaced populations after the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. Rapid constructive, quick to site and cheap are all positive reasons that made containers the ideal home to be implimented for the housing crisis. Although this isn’t reusing shipping containers but in fact fabricating new ones to fit in with Japanese regulations it also help speed up the completion times of homes as well as reduce unneeded materials. E.g. if you look at the photo below you can see 3/4 of the floor space is missing as the container below it has the floor/ceiling. This reduces transportation costs and gets the units to where they are needed quicker. The information on where the units came from is a bit sketchy but a previous project quotes a factory in Thailand which would make sense with the current issues within Japan affecting its manufacturing industries.
Reading up on the buildings they are only allowed to be sited for a maximum of 2 years due to Japanese construction codes. Although hopefully by this time the displaced people would have started to rebuild their lives and their buildings. At the same time I do wonder where all the units will go afterwards, I know in the UK we move them around site to site for construction work and I could see this being the case of utilizing these buildings in some other way than just stacking them up incase of another disaster.