Japan’s employers urged to sustain wage hikes

Rengo, Japan's largest trade union, pushes for further raises in wages, citing inflation pressure on real wages. Debates on pay raises to commence in October for economic stability 


Employers across Japan are being urged to continue the positive trend of wage hikes following this year’s 30-year-high average pay increase. Rengo, the largest trade union confederation in Japan, has called on employers to take action after assessing the outcomes of the annual spring wage talks.  Tomoko Yoshino, president, Rengo, emphasised the importance of further raising wages, particularly in industries that have not seen substantial increases, and highlighted the pressure on real wages due to price inflation.

To ensure the economy’s stable growth, Rengo considers it essential for real wages to continue rising. The union plans to initiate debates on proposed pay raises for the upcoming year in October, with the final decisions to be made by the year-end.

This year’s spring wage talks, known as ‘shunto’, resulted in an impressive average pay hike of 3.58%, the highest in about three decades. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had previously encouraged business groups to increase wages in response to the rising cost of living, pledging to implement reforms that support sustainable pay rises.

Notably, various employers in Japan have already offered substantial pay raises to their employees this year. Among them are Fast Retailing, Oriental Land, Sumco, and Aeon. The push for continued wage growth aims to bolster the economy and improve the financial well-being of workers across the country.


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