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The average retail price of regular gasoline in Japan fell for the fifth straight week, although it still remained at a high level, the industry ministry said Wednesday.

As of Monday, the price stood at ¥165.90 per liter, down ¥2.1 from a week earlier, while staying above ¥160 for the 11th straight week.

The fall reflected lower crude oil prices amid concerns over a drop in demand due to the spread of the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the average price of kerosene, chiefly used for heaters, fell ¥22 to ¥1,925 per 18 liters, down for the second straight week.

The Oil Information Center, which conducts the price survey, said the average prices for gasoline and kerosene are predicted to stay flat next week.

The center said that crude oil prices are moving like a seesaw and cannot find direction.

The average pump price fell in 44 prefectures and went up in Shiga and Nagasaki. The price remained flat in Oita.

Nagasaki, home to many remote islands, logged the highest price, at ¥176.9, followed by Kagoshima and Oita.

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