Japan to Lower Gasoline Subsidy Cap

Economy

Tokyo, Dec. 21 (Jiji Press)--Japan’s industry ministry will lower the maximum amount of subsidies provided to oil wholesalers to curb gasoline prices for the first time in stages starting next month, officials said Wednesday.

The ministry plans to lower the cap on gasoline subsidies by 2 yen every month from the current 35 yen per liter to bring it to 25 yen in May.

It believes that retail gasoline prices are unlikely to rise considerably if crude oil prices stay at current levels.

The upper limit of subsidies was set at 5 yen initially in January and rose to 25 yen in March and to 35 yen in April.

Currently, subsidies are provided if the national average gasoline price tops 168 yen per liter. The government has been paying less than 25 yen per liter recently, and plans to pay 15.6 yen per liter starting Thursday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press