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Japan floats surprise gasoline subsidy to cap prices at pump

Money for refiners risks distorting energy market in transition, critics say

Japan's gasoline prices hit a roughly seven-year high in early November amid surging crude prices and a weaker yen. (Photo by Munemasa Horio)

TOKYO -- Japan's government has proposed paying oil refiners to keep down the price of gasoline, just days after nations agreed to move faster to end "inefficient" subsidies for fossil fuels.

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