The Nikkei reports that the nationwide average price in Japan for regular gasoline was ¥139.8 per liter ($6.65 per gallon US) as of Monday, dropping for the 13th straight week to a 16-month low, according to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.
Prices at the pump are falling in Japan not only due to lower crude oil prices, but also because the widespread popularity of fuel-efficient vehicles has lowered demand for gasoline.
...A shakeout in the gas station industry is expected as next-generation green cars, including electric and fuel-cell vehicles, become more popular. Next-generation cars will account for 56% of all automobiles in Japan in fiscal 2030, the agency predicted in a report released in mid-June. Gasoline consumption that year is expected to be about 60% lower than the fiscal 2010 level.
The agency forecast that demand for petroleum products in Japan will total 130 million kiloliters in fiscal 2030; the Petroleum Association of Japan has stated that 180 million kiloliters of demand is necessary to provide stable supplies.
The number of gasoline refueling stations in Japan as of 31 March 2011 had dropped to about 38,000, down from more than 60,000 in 1995, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.