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Press Conference by Minister Hagiuda (Excerpt)

*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.

9:34-9:39 a.m.
Friday, January 28, 2022
In front of the Cabinet Room, 2nd floor,
National Diet Building

Question-and-Answer Session

Soaring Oil Product Prices

Q: Good morning.
Yesterday, measures were taken to minimize the rapid rise in gasoline prices.
At the press conference on Tuesday, you said that you wished that the effects would be reflected in prices as soon as possible. It has been only one day since the measures were taken, but has there been any report on whether the subsidies have had any effect?

A: I think that the effects of the subsidies issued yesterday are gradually being reflected in retail prices, but I would like to confirm the effects in the oil price survey, which will be published next Wednesday. I have already said this, but I would like to reiterate that this system is aimed at minimizing further surges, not at lowering prices.
In addition, subsidies will be provided to wholesale companies after confirming they have taken the subsidy into account in determining their wholesale prices.
It may take one or two weeks for it to be reflected in retail prices, depending on the stock levels at individual petrol stations, but I would like to ask service station operators to respond in accordance with the aim of the system.
We would like to thoroughly follow up on trends in retail prices including a full survey of petrol stations.

Soaring Oil Product Prices

Q: Concerning gasoline prices, an OPEC meeting is scheduled in early February. Can you tell us if there are any possibilities that oil producing countries will increase their output?

A: While some believe that the impact of the Omicron variant on oil demand is temporary, we understand that crude oil prices are on an upward trend due to the sluggish production of some oil producing countries and the situation in Ukraine.
The OPEC+ Ministerial Meeting will be held next week on February 2. I hope that discussions will be made toward the stability of the international crude oil market, taking into account the recent tightening of supply and demand conditions. Japan will continue to talk to major oil producing countries via various channels and urge them more than ever to understand our position as a consumer.

Last updated:2022-02-17