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Army and Air Force Exchange Service customers in Japan and Okinawa will temporarily be spared a price hike at the pumps.

Less than 24 hours after announcing that gasoline prices in Japan and Okinawa would climb more than 20 cents per gallon, AAFES rolled back the proposed increase — for now.

“At the request of Maj. Gen. Kathryn Frost, the AAFES commander, we are freezing gas prices in Japan and Okinawa until the end of October while we review the overseas gas price policy,” AAFES spokeswoman Sgt. 1st Class Amanda Glenn said. “In addition, the $1 coupon will remain in effect while we review the policy.

“We’re reviewing it to see if we can get it down for our customers.”

In Japan and Okinawa, prices will temporarily remain at $1.44 a gallon for midgrade unleaded fuel and $1.33 a gallon for diesel.

Fuel costs in Japan and Okinawa are usually adjusted annually on Oct. 1.

Prices will go up on Guam, where unleaded gasoline will cost 10 cents more at $1.77 a gallon in October at Andersen Air Force Base. Premium unleaded will rise from $1.85 to $1.95 per gallon.

AAFES fuel prices on Guam are adjusted monthly.

Navy Exchange officials in Virginia Beach, Va., said no price changes are planned.

“We are not going to increase prices of gas in Japan at this time,” NEX automotive program manager Larry Boone said through spokeswoman Kristine Sturkie.

NEX has no operations on Okinawa or in South Korea; the few sailors there use AAFES.

Sturkie said officials there did not know at this time what price changes might be coming for sailors on Guam.

So far, servicemembers overseas have been buffered from skyrocketing fuel prices in the States, where average prices are about 24.8 cents per gallon higher than a year ago, according to a weekly survey of service stations by the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration.

Average U.S. gasoline prices, however, have steadily dropped since hitting $1.75 a gallon over Labor Day weekend. As of Sept. 24, regular unleaded was an average $1.63, and midgrade was $1.73 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association’s daily fuel price report online at www.fuelgaugereport.com.

AAFES retail prices for gasoline and diesel fuel are based on Department of Energy averages from the previous fiscal year, plus each region’s incremental dispensing costs, to include supplying and storing fuel, officials have said.

AAFES buys fuel annually from the Defense Energy Support Center at Fort Belvoir, Va. Glenn did not know what AAFES was paying for wholesale gasoline.

“AAFES does our best to provide the lowest possible price to our customers,” she said.

S. Korea bases will see 10-cent hike

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Gas prices are about to jump another 10 cents for U.S. servicemembers in South Korea, totaling a 19-cent increase since the beginning of this month.

On Oct. 1, the price of unleaded rises from $1.65 a gallon to $1.75 a gallon, while premium goes from $1.83 to $1.94, Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials said Wednesday. Diesel will remain $1.53 a gallon.

Gas prices for South Korea, Guam, Japan and Okinawa are calculated differently because the fuel comes from separate sources.

Gas prices rose 9 cents per gallon this month for regular and premium at on-base pumps in South Korea.

Off post, at an LG gas station in Seoul’s Tongdaemun district, unleaded fuel is $4.06 a gallon and diesel $2.64 a gallon.

AAFES bases its fuel prices on monthly averages calculated by the U.S. Department of Energy. It adds any dispensing costs before setting a final selling price.

In South Korea, AAFES lowered prices in May, June and July after a 12-cent hike in April. In August, regular and unleaded rose 1 cent per gallon.

— Stars and Stripes

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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