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Gasoline prices leap, not creep, upward

Date Posted: 2008-06-06

The price of a liter of gasoline has soared well into the ¥170 range across Japan this week, with the country’s largest oil distributor jacking its wholesale price by ¥12.

The move by Nippon Oil Corporation was quickly reflected in prices jumping up across Japan. In Tokyo, Idemitsu stations hiked prices to ¥174, an increase of ¥15 per liter. Osaka prices rose to ¥178 per liter, while Nagoya service stations reported new prices of ¥174 per liter.

Okinawa drivers feel the pinch too. Although they were still paying an average ¥150 per liter at most gas stands on Monday, the price jumped to ¥162 by Tuesday. That is still about ¥10 per liter less than in mainland, thanks to a special tax rule governing the Prefecture. Outlying islands such as Miyako, Yaeyama and Yonaguni are struggling because they face higher distribution costs with local newspapers reporting prices as high as in the ¥190 per liter range in Ishigaki in their Wednesday morning editions.

Gasoline costs had dipped to the ¥130 per liter range in April, after a gasoline road tax law expired. The ¥25 per liter surcharge was reinstated the beginning of May after the Diet reinstituted the controversial road tax.

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