Average pump price falls to ¥169.8

The Yomiuri Shimbun
An employee works at a gas station in Kitakyushu on April 4.

TOKYO (Jiji Press)—The average retail price of regular gasoline in Japan as of Monday fell ¥0.3 from a week earlier to ¥169.8 per liter, the industry ministry said Wednesday.

In the week through Wednesday, the ministry provided ¥31.4 per liter in subsidies to oil distributors, pushing down the national average by ¥29.6.

Average retail prices fell in 33 of Japan’s 47 prefectures, rose in 10 and stayed flat in four. The highest average was ¥183 in Nagasaki, southwestern Japan.

The government will raise the amount of the subsidies by ¥2.4 to ¥33.8 per liter from Thursday.

As a result, the national average of retail prices is expected to drop next week, according to the Oil Information Center of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan.

Regarding the subsidy program, scheduled to finish at the end of September, Tsutomu Sugimori, former president of the Petroleum Association of Japan, called on the government to “prevent any turmoil,” stressing that the average price would jump to around ¥210 without the subsidies.

In a television program Sunday, industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said the government will consider keeping the subsidy program in place in and after October.