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Japan to Raise 170 Billion Yen Selling Bureaucrat Housing

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Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s government plans to raise 170 billion yen ($2.1 billion) by selling 56,000 houses and units that are currently lent cheaply to officials.

The proceeds from the sale will be spent on reconstruction after last year’s earthquake and tsunami, Vice Finance Minister Koichi Takemasa said in Tokyo today. The sale will be completed over the next four years and covers about 26 percent of the government’s housing stock for civil servants, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s government is selling assets and cutting administrative spending as it plans to double the sales tax. The sale was originally announced last December as Japan struggles with the world’s largest public debt.

The government will also double the rent that bureaucrats pay for the remaining housing, starting in April 2014, according to the statement. An unmarried official living in central Tokyo would pay as much as 19,000 yen a month after the increase, up from the current 9,000 yen to 13,000 yen.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mayumi Otsuma in Tokyo at motsuma@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net