Govt to raise oil subsidy cap

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A customer gets gas at a station in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, in March.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The industry ministry will raise the cap on its subsidies paid to oil wholesalers to ¥31.8 per liter from ¥25 to push down high gasoline prices amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, officials said Wednesday.

With the move, which comes after the government adopted on Tuesday a comprehensive emergency package of measures to counter soaring prices, the ministry aims to reduce the national average price of regular gasoline at service stations to ¥168 per liter as of May 9.

As of Monday, the average pump price fell ¥0.7 from a week earlier to ¥172.8, down for the third straight week.

Without the subsidy program, however, the price would have been ¥198.2, a ministry official said.

Gasoline prices fell in 40 of 47 prefectures, rose in three and stayed flat in four. The highest level was at ¥181.8 in Nagasaki Prefecture.

The nationwide average price of kerosene dropped by ¥7 to ¥2,051 per 18 liters, down for the second straight week, the ministry said.