INTERVIEW: Suga Adviser Calls for 3 Pct Hike in Japan's Minimum Wages

Politics

Tokyo, July 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's minimum wages must be raised by at least 3 pct in fiscal 2021, which started in April, David Atkinson, a member of the Japanese government's growth strategy panel, has indicated.

In a recent interview with the Jiji Press, Atkinson, 56, who is known to be a key adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, stressed the need to use the wage hike as an opportunity to urge the heads of smaller companies with low labor productivity to change current business models that rely on cheap labor.

He noted that Europe and the United States have raised their wages by around 5 pct in 2020 and by around 2-4 pct in 2021, despite the adverse effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On the other hand, Japan's minimum hourly wages in fiscal 2020 rose by only one yen from the previous year to 902 yen on average.

"Japan's economy is expected to improve on the back of the spread of COVID-19 vaccinations," Atkinson said in Japanese, adding that the country should not keep wage levels almost unchanged for this fiscal year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press