Japan provides more subsidies for wage-rising firms

PM Fumio Kishida is asking employers to increase pay to keep up with inflation during wage negotiations next spring.
By: | October 6, 2022

Japan plans to expand subsidies for small and mid-sized firms that raise wages, hoping that workers’ wages will keep up with inflation.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has asked companies to aim for pay hikes that keep pace with accelerating inflation in wage negotiations next spring, reports Japan Times. The government also plans to prod bigger firms to accept higher prices set by subcontractors by publicising the names of companies that refuse to do so repeatedly, or without providing justification.

“I hope negotiations will take place between management and labour unions to realise pay hikes that can make up for inflation,” Kishida told a government panel.

Other issues touched on include reforming the country’s labour market over the medium- to long-term by promoting a shift from seniority-based pay to one that is based on job descriptions and responsibilities.

READ: Japanese firms raising wages to attract workers

In an upcoming economic package, Japan intends to focus on three areas: spurring wage growth, achieving growth through investments and reform, and coping with inflation and a weak yen.

Japan’s wage talks this year resulted in firms agreeing to an average 2.07% pay raise, topping the 2% threshold for the first time in three years, according to data from the Japanese Trade Union Confederation.