I have made enquiries with a bank here in Tokyo and I can get a housing loan at 1.7%. The minimum is US$100,000. I would pay back the loan in yen. Payments come out to be nearly 49,000 yen per month. Since I would pay the loan back out of my salary I thought it might be a good way to save, as I would also be banking all the rent.
It would be a good way to save for another deposit for a place. If I use this strategy I would be looking at places which show good capital gains rather than high rental yield, so if the place does increase a lot I could just sell it and repay back the loan. NZ seems the obvious choice to do this with no capital gains tax payable.