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The nationwide average retail price of regular gasoline hit a 16-year high of 143.7 yen per liter Monday, officials at the Oil Information Center said Wednesday.

The average retail price for a liter of regular gasoline is the highest on record. The center began compiling nationwide statistics in 1987. The previous high, 142 yen, was set in fall 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August of that year.

Monday’s average price is 6.3 yen higher than last week.

The jump in gas prices was caused by the major oil distributors, which jacked up the wholesale price by about 4 yen to 10 yen per liter in late July, causing pump prices to jump at the beginning of this month.

Drivers are likely to feel the pinch as they head off to their hometowns or vacation spots during the upcoming Bon summer holidays.

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