Japan Initiates Step to Curb Gasoline Prices

Politics Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 27 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government activated for the first time on Thursday a subsidy program aimed at curbing soaring prices of gasoline and other fuels.

By providing subsidies to oil wholesalers that handle gasoline, gas oil, kerosene and fuel oil, the government aims to cut the wholesale prices charged to gas stations.

Meanwhile, many people voice concerns that the measure may cause confusion among consumers as retail prices vary for each gas station depending on inventory status and other factors. The effectiveness of the measure has also come into question.

The subsidy program is activated when the average retail price of regular gasoline in the country tops 170 yen per liter. The latest average pump price, announced Wednesday, stood at 170.2 yen per liter.

In the first week of activation, 3.4 yen per liter, or the gap between the latest price and the standard price of 170 yen plus the increase in crude oil procurement costs of 3.2 yen, is provided to oil wholesalers in subsidy.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press