Raft of price hikes to hit consumers

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A raft of price hikes for food and daily necessities will hit consumers in Japan at the start of April.

Prices of various products will increase because a wide range of commodity prices are soaring, including wheat and soybean.

Effective from Friday, when Japan goes into a new fiscal and academic year, the price of home-use edible oil will rise by ¥40 or more per kilogram at Nisshin Oillio Group Ltd.

Kagome Co. will raise tomato ketchup prices by up to around 9%, while Otsuka Foods Co. will hike the price of the Bon Curry Gold products by ¥10 to ¥190 per pack before tax.

Suntory Spirits Ltd.’s Yamazaki 12-year-old whisky will be priced at ¥10,000 per 700-milliliter bottle, up a whopping 18%.

Bread and noodle prices have already gone up. Their prices are likely to increase further because the government will boost the prices of imported wheat it sells to the private sector by about 17%.

Kao Corp. plans a 10% price hike for its Merries disposable diapers.

Soaring energy prices have already jacked up electricity rates. The maximum tolls on Tokyo’s Metropolitan Expressway will rise to ¥1,950 from ¥1,320 for standard-size cars.

Meanwhile, the government will expand tax breaks for companies raising salaries of their employees.

As the revised Civil Code enters into force Friday, the age of majority will drop to 18. This means that 18- and 19-year-olds will newly become able to sign mobile phone, home rental, credit card and loan contracts without the consent of their parents.

“We’ll be careful and give thorough explanations,” a credit card industry official said.