Jordan and Japan on Tuesday signed a soft loan agreement worth 12.24 billion yen ($156 Million), provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to finance human capacity development projects and social infrastructure improvement. The agreement was signed by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Jaafar Hassan and JICA’s Chief Representative in Jordan Toshiaki Tanaka. Hassan said the loan will finance capital projects listed in the general budget law for 2012, including sectors of health, labor, education, higher education and vocational training. Quoted by the official news agency (Petra) He added that the loan is provided with concessional financing conditions with 0.95% interest rate and 20 years repayment period, including 6 years grace period to reduce the financing gap in capital projects. “Jordan appreciates the continuous Japanese support for various development priority programs,” the minister said, noting two recent Japanese grants, worth $3.22 million to support the government’s social and economic development projects and $6.78 million to enhance security procedures in the Jordanian-Iraqi border crossing of Al Karama. The Japanese official stressed his country’s keenness to provide financial and technical support for the Kingdom, as well as for the Jordanian economic and political reform process.