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Japan’s Gasoline Price at 15-year High

The average retail gasoline price in Japan has risen for the 14th consecutive week to climb to a new 15-year high, industry ministry data showed Wednesday, a day after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ordered the ruling party to prepare more measures to alleviate the impact of high fuel costs.

The average price for regular gasoline stood at 183.70 yen per liter as of Monday, advancing 1.80 yen from a week earlier and hitting its highest level since August 2008, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The current government subsidy program to curb price hikes — introduced in January 2022 amid a surge in crude oil just ahead of Russia’s war in Ukraine — has been scaling down since January this year, contributing to the recent elevation of gas prices.

With the subsidy program set to conclude at the end of September, Kishida met with the Liberal Democratic Party’s policy chief Koichi Hagiuda on Tuesday and instructed the ruling party to formulate measures to ease the impact of the high price by the end of this month.

An extension of the existing subsidy program for oil distributors is among the options under consideration, with the gasoline price nearing an all-time high of 185.10 yen set in August 2008.

Gasoline prices are projected to continue rising through next week on the ramping down of subsidies and a weak yen, according to an official of the Oil Information Center, which conducted the survey.

The nationwide average retail price for premium gasoline on Monday stood at 194.60 yen per liter, up 1.90 yen from a week earlier, while diesel rose 1.70 yen to 163.10 yen per liter. The price of 18 liters, or roughly one tank, of kerosene rose 29 yen to 2,200 yen.

The industry ministry forecasts the price of regular gasoline to set a new record high next Monday, even while subsidies remain in place. The data for Monday will be released on Aug. 30.

Source: Japan Today