Japan plans to increase minimum hourly wages to 1,000 yen

Prime minister Yoshihide Suga has said he targets to raise the country's average minimum hourly wage to 1,000 yen (US$9.2) as soon as possible.
By: | March 24, 2021

Suga announced this during a meeting of his Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy on Monday, when the government discussed economic measures after it lifted its COVID-19 state of emergency on Sunday. 

Currently, different regions in the country have different minimum hourly wages. Tokyo has the highest figure in the nation at 1,013 yen (US$9.3), while for the other prefectures of Akita, Kochi, Oita, Okinawa, Saga, Shimane and Tottori, the figure stands at 792 yen (US$7.3). In fiscal 2020, the national minimum hourly wage averaged 902 yen (US$8.3). 

Private-sector members of the council have called on the prime minister to increase local minimum wages to eliminate regional discrepancies. They have particularly asked for higher wages for non-regular workers at small and mid-sized businesses in local regions. 

READ: Japanese employers offer lowest salary increase in 8 years

Last August, the labour ministry announced that minimum hourly wage in Japan in fiscal 2020 will rise by 1 yen from the previous year to an average of 902 yen (US$8.3). This increase was the lowest in 16 years. Before that, the average minimum wage had grown by over 20 yen (US$0.18) annually for four straight years until fiscal 2019. 

At the meeting, Suga also said the government will compile a list of 10,000 workers from banks, trading houses and others to promote flows of personnel from large companies to small and mid-sized companies in local areas, according to Jiji Press.