A survey by a private research institute showed Friday that the prices of goods and services in London were higher than those for similar items in Tokyo for the first time since it began its study in 1995.

According to the fourth annual survey by the Dai-Ichi Kangyo Research Institute on price differentials experienced by its employees overseas, the Japanese capital proved more costly than New York, Los Angeles, Duesseldorf and Singapore, but cheaper than London and Hong Kong.

According to an index set at 100 for Tokyo prices, New York stood at 91, Los Angeles and Duesseldorf at 88 and Singapore at 80, while London and Hong Kong registered 105 and 122, respectively.

The yen’s depreciation against the dollar and the pound helped reduce the price gap with some cities from last year’s survey, while its added strength against the German mark helped it slightly widen the gap with Duesseldorf.

Prices rose at a faster pace in Hong Kong than in the other cities, and rent levels were high, making it the costliest city in the study. The Singapore dollar’s weakening against the yen due to the Asian currency crisis, meanwhile, helped make it the least expensive city.

In terms of individual items, prices in Tokyo were higher than those of other cities for 18 out of the 64 items surveyed, including bread, compact discs, movie tickets and electricity fees. In contrast, the price of a five-box package of tissue paper and a liter of soy sauce were found to be cheapest in Tokyo.

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