The recent declines in oil prices will likely boost the Japanese economy by about JPY 7 trillion (USD 59 billion) annually, Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari said Friday.
"Declines in oil prices offer benefits for Japan's economy as it stops outflow of capital, "Amari told a press conference. "The current oil prices are less than half their peak levels, and based on calculations the Cabinet Office, they give the Japanese economy a boost of some JPY 7 trillion," he said.
But the minister also said falling oil prices could become a serious issue if they badly affect the economies of oil-producing nations, expressing hope that energy prices will move in a stable manner.
Japan is the world's-third biggest oil consumer after the US and China, and heavily dependent on Middle Eastern oil.