Price hikes in second half to raise burden on Japanese households


Households will face greater financial burdens from Monday, the start of the fiscal second half, when prices for a variety of products and services ranging from cigarettes, wheat and cram school fees go up.

Tobacco makers will raise prices for their products in line with a tobacco tax increase of ¥1 per cigarette.

Japan Tobacco Inc. will raise the price of its mainstay Mevius brand products from ¥440 per box of 20 cigarettes to ¥480, equivalent to a rise of ¥2 per cigarette.

The government will raise prices for imported wheat sold to domestic millers by 2.2 percent on average.

This is equivalent to a rise of some ¥3.8 per kilogram in the price of soft flour for household use. Confectionery prices are also expected to go up.

Musical instrument maker Yamaha Corp. will lift piano prices by 3 to 6 percent due to higher logistics costs.

Kumon Institute of Education Co., a cram school operator, will raise fees for preschool and elementary school children from ¥6,480 to ¥7,020 per subject in most parts of the country. The first fee revision in 27 years reflects higher personnel costs and rents.

Japan Freight Railway Co. (JR Freight) plans to raise its transportation fees by some 10 percent, the first price hike since the company was created in 1987 as part of the breakup and privatization of the state-run Japanese National Railways.

The move by JR Freight is likely to affect prices of various products because its service handles a wide variety of goods ranging from groceries to industrial products.