Some motorists in the Pacific will be shelling out $4 a gallon for gasoline starting Saturday.

Americans with diesel-powered rides in South Korea will pay $4.039 a gallon when the Army and Air Force Exchange Service adjusts fuel prices for the week.

Diesel also leaped 15.5 cents a gallon across the Sea of Japan, but a 25-cent-per-gallon savings from AAFES via Japanese government funds means diesel is cheaper in mainland Japan and Okinawa at $3.779 a gallon.

Even with the quarter-per-gallon discount, gas in Japan hit record territory for the second consecutive week, as did prices throughout the region.

Midgrade unleaded sold by AAFES and the Navy Exchange in mainland Japan and Okinawa was to climb 6.4 cents a gallon Saturday to $3.203 — an increase of 16 cents in just three weeks.

Midgrade and diesel are the only types of fuel available at military bases in Japan.

In South Korea and Guam, unleaded continued its climb by 6 cents a gallon, to $3.349 and $3.389, respectively.

On Pacific bases, AAFES and NEX adjust their retail gas prices each Saturday based on market changes in the States.

Retail gas prices stateside have been on the upswing for several weeks but leveled off slightly late last week.

The national average for regular-grade gasoline hit a new high of $3.284 per gallon as of Wednesday, up by 70.7 cents above the price at the same time last year, according to the Energy Department.

But as oil wavered, falling to just over $105 a barrel last Monday, so did gas prices, which by Thursday had slipped to $3.275, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

Diesel, however, rose 0.8 cents to a new record of $4.033 a gallon Thursday.

The Associated Press explained that while the U.S. demand for oil and gasoline is tepid, diesel is more tied to the global economy, where demand is growing.

Diesel is used to transport the vast majority of the world’s goods via rail, truck and ship, the AP report said.

The Energy Department still forecasts that gas in some regions could cross the $4 per gallon threshold.

Pain in the walletNew AAFES and NEX gas prices (per gallon) that were to go into effect Saturday:

Okinawa and mainland Japan Midgrade unleaded: $3.203 (up 6.4 cents)Diesel: $3.779 (up 15.5 cents)Note: Pump prices in Japan include a 25-cent-per-gallon discount

South Korea Regular unleaded: $3.349 (up 5.9 cents)Premium unleaded: $3.565 (up 5.7 cents)Diesel: $4.039 (up 15.5 cents)

Guam Regular unleaded: $3.389 (up 6 cents)Midgrade unleaded: $3.499 (up 6 cents)Premium unleaded: $3.599 (up 5 cents)

From staff reports

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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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