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Japan: Return of the Gas Tax

Japan's “temporary” gasoline tax [ja] of 25 yen per liter of gas, extended for over 30 years and funding some 5000 road construction programs, has been re-instated after a short-lived battle with the opposition, and people aren't happy about it. Popularity of the administration of Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo, according to a newspaper poll on April 21st by Asahi newspaper, has dropped to a record low 25 percent, down from 31% at the end of March. A poll meanwhile showed that 63 percent of Japanese disapprove of the reinstatement of the gas tax, a sentiment reflected in blogs and forums as well.

Gas prices on May 2nd in Tokyo
Gas prices in Tokyo on May 2nd, up by 25 yen to 158 yen/litre (at this station in Tokyo).

Blogger Spray criticizes people who support the gas tax because they think that it will help the environment:

賛成派には色々な意見があるが笑ってしまうのが、環境への影響という。どだい今の日本は新車が売れなくて大変だと報道されているのに、税率が低くなったからといって急にガソリン消費量が劇的に上がるわけね〜ってつうの。車を維持するためには多大な経済的負担が必要で公共交通機関がないに等しい地方や俺のような仕事でどうしても車を使わなくてはいけないという人間以外はもつ必要もないんだから。今の若者が昔に比べて車を所有しなくなっているといわれているんだから、CO2は特に増えるわけではないだろう。

There are various views among supporters [of the gasoline tax], but the one that makes me laugh is the one about environmental impact. There are reports about how difficult things are in today's Japan with new cars not selling anymore, so just because the tax is reduced does not mean that consumption will all of a sudden rise dramatically. The reason is that there is a huge economic burden in maintaining a car, and other than in regions where there is essentially no mass transport system, and other than people like me who have to use a car for their work, there is no need for them. Compared with the old days, it is said that young people these days have stopped owning cars, so it doesn't seem that there is any particular reason that CO2 would increase.

Blogger bluetear described their experience of the hike in gas prices:

私も昨日の内にいつも行くGSに早めに行ったんですが、もう長い列が出来てました。
驚きました〜駆け込み給油をする人がこんなにも多いとは(>_< ) 昨日は125円で満タン入れましたが、今度入れる時は信じられない程の値に上がってるって事ですよね? 最近は、バターが品切れで価格高騰していたり、小麦粉やいろんな物も値上がりして、家計を預かる身は大変です ・.。*゜・。。・゜/【>△<】\エーン 皆さんの場所ではもうガソリンかなり値上がりしましたか?

Yesterday I went early to the gas station that I always go to, but there was already a long lineup.
I was surprised… that there were so many people making a last-minute rush to refuel
I filled up the tank yesterday at 125 yen, but I guess next time the price will have risen to some unbelievable level, right?
With butter going out of stock lately and the price rising steeply, and the prices of other things like flour going up, covering household expenses is really difficult ・.。*゜・。。・゜/【>△<】\
And all of you guys, did the price of gasoline rise where you are?

Blogger kochibox had a harder time:

 朝の出勤時間からすでにGSには駆け込み給油の車が30〜40台ほど列を作っていました。
 「ま、仕事帰りには少し落ち着いているだろう」とタカをくくっていましたが、
 とんでもない!車列はさらに長くなり、数え切れないほどの長蛇!
 さすがに仕事帰りに並ぶ気力も無く家に帰りましたが、うーん、やはり給油しとかないと・・

When I left for work in the morning, there were already around 30 or 40 cars lining up in a last-minute rush to fill up.
“Well, I suppose this will quiet down a little bit by the time I come back from work,” I thought optimistically,
but not even close! The line of cars had become even longer, a long snake [with so many cars] you couldn't even count them!
As would be expected, I didn't have the energy to line up on my way back from work so I just went straight home, but I thought, I'd better fill up…

 夕食後、さすがにさっきよりは・・・などと希望的観測を持ちながらいざ出陣!
 もちろん惨敗。

After dinner, it will get better… with this kind of wishful thinking, I departed for the front!
And of course, it was a crushing defeat.

 セルフ給油所はあきらめ、近くの有人スタンドに行ったのですが、なんとそこは
 「売り切れ」の文字が!!

I gave up on the self-service and headed to a nearby service gas station, but when I got there
there were the words: “Sold Out”!!

 始めて見たゾ!売り切れなんて! さて、現在午後11時。どうするオレ!?

That's the first time I've seen that! Sold Out! Well, it's now 11pm. What am I supposed to do!?

1 comment

  • We have a toll that we pay on the ny thruway that was only supposed to be 20 years and here we are 50 years later still paing . I paid $3.75 a gallon of gas last night , i combat the rising prices by selling bumper stickers on ebay that represent my dismay of the price of gas and they sell pretty well , you need a home PC and a printer and your statrted

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