FOCUS: Japan Pushes Higher Wages for Regional Revitalization

Politics

Tokyo, June 10 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government plans to boost minimum wages in regional areas as part of efforts to address the overconcentration of people in Tokyo and ensure sustainable economic growth, officials said.

A draft of the government’s annual economic and fiscal policy guidelines calls for efforts to raise minimum wages, aiming to achieve a national average of 1,000 yen per hour as early as possible while caring for regional disparities.

The government is looking to continue the push for higher wages started by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The guidelines call for this year’s increase in minimum wages to reflect the rise of more than 3 pct for four straight years through fiscal 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The national average minimum wage in fiscal 2020, which ended in March, stood at 902 yen, lower than in the United States and Europe, which was given as another reason to raise minimum wages swiftly.

Every summer, prefectural wage councils decide their minimum wages, based on recommendations from the Central Minimum Wages Council, an advisory panel to the labor minister.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press