UPDATE 1-Japan mulling extension of housing loan scheme

(Recasts with ministry comments, background, details)

TOKYO, Aug 19 (BestGrowthStock) – The Japanese government may extend
a low-interest housing loan scheme until March 2012 because the
economic climate remains severe, the land ministry said on
Thursday.

“We are considering the plan due to requests from related
organisations and as economic conditions are still severe,” said
Sumio Uchida, an official at the ministry’s housing bureau.

The loan aid programme, introduced last December as part of
an economic stimulus package, reduces annual interest on 35-year
fixed-rate loans for eco-friendly and quake-resistant homes by
one percentage point for the first 10 years.

The programme was scheduled to end this December.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said this week he will discuss with
relevant ministers whether there is a need to come up with
additional economic stimulus measures, as the yen’s persistent
strength threatens the economy’s faltering recovery.
(Reporting by Yumiko Nishitani and Nathan Layne; Editing by
Chris Gallagher)

UPDATE 1-Japan mulling extension of housing loan scheme