Japan has struggled for more than a decade with a stagnating economy and persistent fears of deflation. To counter this malaise, the Bank of Japan has kept yen interest rates at or near zero for most of this period. This has presented a tempting opportunity, not just for experienced traders booking leveraged yen carry trades, but for many humbler folks as well.
A web search on yen mortgages turns up references as far back as 1996. In the years since then, borrowing in yen to finance a house,