Japan Data

Price Rises Continue: Changes Affecting People’s Lives in Japan from October 2023

Economy Society

October 2023 sees an increase in the minimum wage in Japan, but also ongoing price rises.

Invoice System

A new system requiring businesses to submit qualified invoices, such as when applying for tax deductions, goes into effect. It is intended to clarify in each case whether consumption tax is calculated at 8% or 10%. However, there are concerns that the system may put pressure on small businesses and freelancers.

Clarifying Used Car Prices

Used car sellers are now required to display the total cost of vehicles, including all additional expenses. This measure is intended to increase price transparency and eliminate dishonest sales practices.

Pension Subsidies for Part-Time Workers

The government will provide subsidies to address the issue of a decline in take-home pay for part-time workers when their income exceeds a certain level, and they are required to pay social insurance premiums. The subsidy program will provide up to ¥500,000 per part-time employee to companies that raise wages.

Average Minimum Wage Rises to ¥1,004

The minimum wage per prefecture increases by ¥39–47, bringing an overall average increase of ¥43 for an average minimum wage of ¥1,004. The highest rate is in Tokyo at ¥1,113 and the lowest in Iwate Prefecture at ¥893.

Tightened Hometown Tax Rules

A new rule requires municipalities offering gifts in exchange for donations from residents of other municipalities under Japan’s furusato nōzei hometown tax system to keep the total cost of those gifts to within 50% of the donation. Some municipalities raise the donations required for receiving particular gifts.

Increased Out-of-Pocket Costs for COVID-19 Drugs

Patients must now pay between ¥3,000 and ¥9,000 for medicine to treat COVID-19 infections for which the total cost was previously covered in full.

Food Prices Continue to Rise

A Teikoku Databank survey of 105 major food companies found that more than 4,500 products are set to become more expensive in October.

Beer Tax Changes

The government moves further toward unifying tax rates for three categories of beer as the rate for regular beer drops by ¥6.65 to ¥63.35 per 350-milliliter can, and the rate for so-called third beer (beer-flavored beverages with no malt) rises by ¥9.19 to ¥46.99 per can, bringing it level with that for happōshū (low-malt beer).

Yū-Pack Price Increase

Japan Post raises the price of its Yū-Pack parcel service by an average of 10%.

NHK Cuts Fees

NHK cuts its monthly reception fees to ¥1,100 for terrestrial-only contracts and ¥1,950 for satellite contracts.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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