Japan Average Pump Price Hits 13-Year High Despite Govt Subsidies

Economy

Tokyo, Feb. 2 (Jiji Press)--The average retail price of regular gasoline in Japan rose 0.7 yen from a week earlier to 170.90 yen per liter as of Monday, the highest level in some 13 years, industry ministry data showed Wednesday.

Pump prices went up in 39 of the country's 47 prefectures, with Nagasaki seeing the average price reach 178.40 yen, although the ministry started providing subsidies to oil wholesalers on Friday to curb retail price hikes.

Besides gasoline, the average national retail price of kerosene rose 11 yen to 1,998 yen per 18 liters.

The latest retail data reflect to some extent wholesale prices before the subsidy program was invoked, as well as belated markups by some gas stations, a ministry official said.

Without subsidies, consumers should have paid more for gasoline, the official noted. Still, the subsidy program's effectiveness has been questioned by many.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press