Some Japanese utilities may see price hikes delayed until after April

Price hikes planned for April by five regional power utilities in Japan are now expected to be delayed until May or later, with the government set to take more time to scrutinize their applications for the hikes.

At a meeting of the government’s task force on wages and prices on Friday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura to conduct “strict and careful screenings” of the applications without assuming that the price hikes should be implemented in April.

The industry ministry plans to examine whether there is scope for the power companies to cut fuel costs, given that liquefied natural gas and other fuel prices have fallen from peaks they hit in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the yen has strengthened to some extent against other major currencies.

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