Tokyo: Retail gasoline prices in Japan fell for the second consecutive week as of Tuesday after the government earlier this month expanded subsidies provided to refiners to curb prices, the industry ministry said Thursday.
The nationwide average retail price of regular gasoline dropped by 2.8 yen from a week before to 182 yen per liter as of Tuesday.
Pump prices slipped in all of the country’s 47 prefectures, dropping as much as 5.1 yen in Ishikawa and Shimane.
The highest price was Nagasaki’s 192 yen, and the lowest was Iwate’s 176.5 yen.
The ministry estimates that if the subsidies had not been provided, the nationwide average would have reached 206 yen given soaring crude oil prices and a weaker yen.
Starting Thursday, the amount of subsidies will be raised by 4.4 yen to 30.5 yen per liter. Due to the subsidies, the average gasoline price is expected to drop to around 175 yen in October.
“The subsidies prevented a negative impact on people’s lives,” said Shunichi Kito, president of the Petroleum Association of Japan and president and CEO of oil company Idemitsu Kosan Co. He added that guiding retail prices to a given level would disrupt the market mechanism.