Business

Japanese government-linked agency suspects fraudulent use of its Flat 35 housing loans

JIJI

Flat 35 long-term fixed-rate housing loans provided by the government-linked Japan Housing Finance Agency may have been fraudulently used for real estate investment, it has been learned.

The agency is now investigating the details. If any case of abuse is confirmed, the agency will demand the loans be repaid in a lump sum, sources familiar with the matter said.

Under the Flat 35 program, loans are provided for up to 35 years through commercial financial institutions in collaboration with the agency to help individuals buy homes to live in. Use of the loans for real estate investment is prohibited.

The agency is an independent administrative agency supervised by the land ministry and the Finance Ministry.

Land minister Keiichi Ishii said at a news conference Tuesday that it would be regrettable if any improper use of the loan program is confirmed.