Mail, electricity becomes more costly, beer maybe
Consumers in Japan are facing price hikes that in some cases went into effect from June 1st, although many local businesses say that they are in no hurry to boost the cost of commodities to local consumers.
The cost of mailing a postcard went from ¥52 to ¥62, and electric power rates are also expected to rise. Butter ad canned beer were also supposed to go up, but many of supermarkets and convenience stores in Okinawa say that they have no plan to hike the prices soon, and are taking a “wait and see” attitude. However, some discount stores on the island reportedly raised the price of some brands of beer, as they have sold them at lower prices than other shops.
Okinawa Electric Power Company announced a price hike for June that is the highest among all Japanese major electric power companies. According to Okinawa Electric Power Co., an average family of four would see their electric bill to increase ¥65 to ¥7,225/month. However, in July, the price will decrease the most in the nation, and the monthly average electric bill is expected to go down to ¥7,202.
The price increase of canned beer is because of a revision to the Liquor Tax Act. According to an analyst of the beer industry, “The aim of the revision in the law is to force large retailers to hike the price of beer to a level that sets their profit margins at the level similar to smaller stores.”
However, Okinawa is covered by another law that reduces the liquor tax rates within the prefecture, and that may put less pressure on beer prices than in other prefectures.