(Maekyung DB)

Japan’s first inflation in 30 years, embarrassed by the sharp rise in living prices… Asahi Beer raises 6~17%

(Maekyung DB)

Consumers in Japan are experiencing inflation for the first time in about 30 years. In recent years, as the price of living in Japan has risen sharply, consumers are even more perplexed.

As of April of this year, 105 companies raised the prices of 4,081 items, including ramen, cooking oil, and beverages, as of April this year, according to a Japanese research firm “Teikoku Databank”. Asahi Beer, the No. 1 beer company in Japan, announced last month that it would raise the prices of its major products by 6 to 17 percent for the first time in 14 years. Not only beer, but also major food prices have risen sharply. The price of Yamazaki Bakery (7.3%) and Fujipan (8%), which can be bought cheaply at Japanese supermarkets, as well as the popular snack Umaibong, which had maintained 10 yen for 43 years, rose by 20%. In addition, food prices such as coffee (Nestlé Japan 10-20%) and sausages (Nippon Ham 5-12%) increased significantly.

It seems that the price of living in Japan is rising steeply in all directions. In May, electricity rates for Tokyo Electric Power Holdings will rise by 25% compared to the same month of the previous year, and Tokyo Gas by 24%. Shimamura, a Japanese fast-fashion company, announced that it will raise the unit price for fall and winter clothes by an average of 3-4% this year.

It is interpreted that Japan is facing an ‘inflation shock’ due to the low yen, rising oil prices and raw material prices due to the aftermath of the Ukraine war, and the US decision to raise interest rates. In the Tokyo foreign exchange market on the 4th, the value of the yen per dollar fell to 130 yen, the lowest level in 20 years. The yen has steadily weakened after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced on the 28th of last month that it would maintain a large-scale monetary easing policy to stimulate the economy. Some experts believe the yen could fall to 150 yen per dollar in March next year. The real effective exchange rate, a measure of the purchasing power of the yen compared to other currencies, is also at its lowest level in 50 years.

Japanese society has suffered from economic stagnation and deflation for over 30 years since the early 1990s. Therefore, the ‘Satori generation’ in Japan (born in the mid-1980s to mid-1990s) is the first to experience a rise in prices. Experts analyzed that the average cost of living per household in Japan will increase by 60,000 yen or 580,000 won per year due to this inflation.

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