Support for industries hit by oil price surge

Government ministers in Japan are being asked to find ways to lessen the pain that high crude oil prices are inflicting on business.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu told the ministers at a meeting on Friday that the measures will be part of an economic stimulus package set to be adopted next week.

Matsuno wants them to suggest initiatives for industries that have been hit hardest, including agriculture, fishery and transport.

Gasoline prices at the pump have been rising for ten straight weeks in Japan. They are at their highest level in more than seven years.

New York's crude futures prices also hit a seven-year high last month due to rising demand from a recovering global economy.