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Foods, goods and services prices taking hefty hikes

Date Posted: 2008-04-04

Stores and businesses weren’t playing April Fools jokes when they opened their doors Tuesday; the price increases were for real!

Okinawa soba is a whopping 30% higher now, thanks to similar price increases in wheat needed for the popular noodles. In addition to noodles, breads and cakes are showing ¥50-70 hikes, and Kentucky Fried Chicken has announced prices on its products are being raised ¥20.

Nisshin Oil says it has increased cooking oil prices by 10%, and the priced for soy sauce has risen 11% April 1st. Beer costs are up, and retailers are increasing prices 3-5%.

Utility fees are up ¥66-150 this month, while people’s pension insurance rates are climbing more than ¥300, from ¥14,100 to ¥14,410. At the same time, the health insurance professionals have removed those 75 years of age and older from their pensions.

For workers, the prices are going up, but wages are not. Few companies indicate they are planning worker pay increases this year, a decision that effectively increases the cost of living. Japan’s two major airlines, Japan Air Lines and All Nippon Airways, both say they’re raising domestic fares 9% this month, and will introduce even larger fare hikes of 6-17% on international routes.

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