Japan Tobacco Inc. said Thursday it is seeking permission to raise prices for its 13 cigarette brands by 30 yen a pack — a move likely to inflame smokers.

Two-thirds of that hike is coming from the government, which has scheduled a rise in the tobacco tax of about 20 yen on July 1. JT’s hike would also take effect in July, pending Finance Ministry approval.

JT officials said the price hike is inevitable because it has to finance the cost of replacing regular vending machines with those that have age-verification functions.

If the hike is approved, it will be the first time a jump in the price of the popular Mild Seven brand has eclipsed a government tax hike, JT said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.