Japan May Mull Extra Step to Curb Gasoline Prices: Minister

Politics Economy

Tomakomai, Hokkaido, Jan. 29 (Jiji Press)--Japan may have to consider an additional step to slow a surge in prices of gasoline and other fuels if impacts on people's daily lives linger, industry minister Koichi Hagiuda said Saturday.

Hagiuda made the comment in talks with reporters in Tomakomai in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido. He visited the city to inspect an oil storage station and other facilities.

The Japanese government on Thursday initiated a new program to provide subsidies to oil wholesalers to help slow the pace of rises in gasoline prices. The measure will be in place until the end of March.

"Firstly, we need to check around the nation if the subsidy program is functioning appropriately," Hagiuda said.

At the same time, the minister said, "The situation has changed from the time when the program was created," citing a further rise in crude oil prices, among other things.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press