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TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called on Tuesday for fresh targeted measures that could help households and businesses withstand some of the pain from surging prices, such as rising electricity costs.

The move comes as a weak yen and higher raw material costs have put pressure on households, retailers and the agricultural sector, creating a headache for ruling party politicians facing an upper house election next month.

The government will take “even more precise measures” to address goods that are seeing price surges, Kishida said at the opening meeting of a government taskforce to respond to price rises and boost wages.

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“We’ll pay close attention to price trends of food, grains and energy that are directly linked to daily life and their impact on the economy,” he said, Measures proposed by Kishida included steps to stimulate efficient energy usage by consumers and businesses and support for agricultural producers to reduce their production costs.

Separately, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday that nothing had been decided about the size and timing of any new government measures.

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