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Importing High-Octane Gasoline from the United States

With the conclusion of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in September 1951, Japan regained a position as part of international society. In July of the following year, controls on consumption of petroleum products were released after 14 years.
Also, in May 1952 foreign currency was allocated to gasoline imports as well, and Idemitsu imported 5,000 kiloliters of gasoline (with an octane rating of 75 and an actual value of 77.2) from the U.S. West Coast, aboard the second-generation Nissho Maru, which had been commissioned in the previous year. It sold this gasoline under the Apollo brand name.
The second-generation Nissho Maru sails under the Golden Gate Bridge
The second-generation Nissho Maru sails under the Golden Gate Bridge
At that time, the octane rating of gasoline sold in Japan had been only about 60. Under these conditions, the newly introduced Apollo gasoline earned a reputation for increasing a vehicle's horsepower, making it possible to drive over the mountains in the Hakone region of Japan without stalling.
With the appearance of Apollo gasoline, the quality of gasoline in Japan improved, as each oil refining company progressively introduced oil reforming and cracking units.
An Idemitsu service station selling the popular high-octane gasoline
An Idemitsu service station selling the popular high-octane gasoline
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