TOKYO: The Japanese government is set to draw up measures to cushion the impact of surging crude oil prices on businesses in the country.
At a meeting Friday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno instructed relevant ministers to consider steps to support affected businesses and ensure that firms hit by higher oil prices can pass on the costs to prices of their products. The government will include these measures in its fresh economic stimulus package, to be adopted Nov. 19.
“Crude oil prices remain high,” Matsuno said at the meeting. “We will come up with support measures for affected industries, such as the agriculture, fisheries and transportation sectors,” he added, urging the participating ministers to quickly work out details.
At a press conference, industry minister Koichi Hagiuda said that participants at the ministerial meeting confirmed a policy of encouraging trucking companies to set their transport service fees at appropriate levels by adding fuel surcharges to their regular service prices.
He also showed plans for the government to utilize reserve funds for the envisaged aid measures, noting that a planned fiscal 2021 supplementary budget will not be passed early enough for meeting robust funding needs during the year-end and New Year period. The government aims to enact the budget by year-end.
Meanwhile, internal affairs minister Yasushi Kaneko told a separate press conference that the state will provide special tax grants to help local governments cover costs for financial aid given to needy people for purposes including kerosene purchases.