Japan to urge oil producers to boost output amid price surge

TOKYO. KAZINFORM - Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday Japan is keeping an eye on the recent surge in oil prices and will urge major producers to boost output to quell concerns of a supply deficit, Kyodo reports.

«We are closely watching movements in the crude oil market as well as the impact on domestic industry and households,» Kishida told reporters after calling an emergency meeting of Cabinet members including Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno and industry minister Koichi Hagiuda to discuss the matter.

Oil prices have climbed sharply over the past two months as demand recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, with benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude futures rising to $82.28 per barrel on Friday in New York, their highest level in seven years.

The surge has sent gasoline prices in Japan climbing, possibly putting a damper on household spending at a time when domestic travel is expected to increase after the state of emergency was lifted at the start of this month.

Kishida said he instructed the ministers to work with the International Energy Agency to call on oil-producing countries to increase output and to «swiftly take appropriate action» to help industries that may be negatively affected.

«We will take concrete steps in our respective roles,» Matsuno told a press conference, without going into further detail.

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