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Japan's big firms offer largest pay rises in decades

TOKYO, Mar 15 (nasdaq.com) - Japan's top companies offered their largest pay increases in a quarter century on Wednesday, as the outcome of annual labour talks showed Japan Inc heeding Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's calls for higher wages to counter a surge in inflation.

Japanese wages have been a casualty of years of sputtering growth since the late 1990s, leaving worker pay nearly flat and well behind the OECD average. But now, with inflation at its highest in four decades, thanks to a weaker yen and rising commodities costs, Kishida is pushing hard for higher pay.

Whether that will be sustainable by companies remains to be seen. This year companies are expected to raise wages at "shunto" spring wage talks that wrap on Wednesday by 2.85%, according to a survey of 33 economists taken by Japan Economic Research Center (JERC).

That's far above last year's 2.2% and the fastest gain since 1997, when Japan slid into 15 years of deflation. ...continue reading

Source: テレ東BIZ

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