Japan will set up a fund worth 'hundreds of billions of yen' within the next few months to aid real estate investment trusts hurt by the global credit crisis, a ruling party lawmaker said yesterday.

The fund, financed by real estate companies and the state- run Development Bank of Japan, will provide loans to the trusts, known as J-REITs, with the aim of reviving the real estate market, said Takumi Nemoto, a ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker. They may also purchase a portion of the REITs’ debt.

'J-REITs triggered the decline of land prices and pulled down the Japanese economy,' Nemoto said yesterday in an interview at his office in Tokyo. 'The failure of the market must be addressed by policies.'