Japan raises gasoline subsidy to maximum of 25 yen per litre

A street is packed with vehicles in Tokyo January 24, 2007. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao(JAPAN)/File Photo

TOKYO, April 20 (Reuters) - Japan raised its gasoline subsidy for oil distributors to the maximum figure of 25 yen ($0.1944) a litre for the seven days from April 21, up from 20.3 yen a week earlier, the industry ministry said on Wednesday.

The temporary subsidy programme was adopted in January to mitigate high fuel prices after tight global supplies boosted crude prices , with further pressure added by the Ukraine conflict that began on Feb. 24.

As high energy prices hit homes and companies, the government is discussing the possibility of extending the subsidies and raising the ceiling on them, lawmakers have said.

The programme was most recently extended until the end of April and the ceiling raised to 25 yen a litre from 5 yen.

The government sets the subsidy amount every week if the retail price of gasoline exceeds a threshold of 170 yen.

Monday's retail price was 173.5 yen, down slightly from 174.0 yen a week earlier, the ministry said.

($1=128.5700 yen)

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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