• SHARE

The government will conduct an urgent survey on the impact of soaring crude oil prices on Japanese companies, bringing forward the regular survey schedule, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Tuesday.

The poll will cover about 1,500 firms, including both major and smaller ones. Its outcome will be released early next month, instead of the originally scheduled June, METI officials said.

Crude oil futures temporarily hit $70.45 a barrel Monday in New York before ending at $70.40, continuing an upsurge since last week fueled by rising tension over Iran’s nuclear program.

The price came close to the all-time high of $70.85 touched at the end of last August. It was the first close above $70 since trading started on the market in 1983.

METI chief Toshihiro Nikai said at a news conference he plans to call on both oil producers and consumers to cooperate to stabilize oil prices during an International Energy Forum meeting slated for Sunday and Monday in Doha, Qatar.

“Both oil producers and consumers would be in trouble if the prices are too high or too low,” he said.