Abe urges higher wages; businesses give muted support

By Leika Kihara

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Just urging companies to raise the wages of their employees is not going to make it actually happen, even when this comes from Prime Minister. It looks like Abe is just trying to please people with his empty words. If he is serious about it, there has to be some concrete law to make it really happen.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Raise the minimum wage PM Abe. Get a clue it starts with you.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Hmm, again with the "urging". Must be Groundhog Day because I swear the same headline has appeared multiple times during Abe's tenure. It's revealing that when it is a matter of filling the administrations or its cronies coffers the forces of compulsion and coercion are used but with this issue that so crucially effects the life of the average Taro Suzuki we get this disassociation and impotent pleading

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Abe sure has a lot of "urges", I wonder if he has learned to control them?

Raise the minimum wage PM Abe. Get a clue it starts with you.

Problem is that the minimum wage here is set by region and not by the national government. Folks at McDonald's in Tokyo get between 1,000 to 1,500 per hour and in Okinawa it's less than half that at around 700 per hour.

Setting a national minimum wage would be one thing, but the problem is the huge variances in the economies of each prefecture and Tokyo tilting statistics towards a higher end.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

risk-shy Japanese companies to divert more of their record profits to innovation and human resources.

They are not risk-shy! They are profit-hungry! We've been hearing the same 'urging' since the sales tax increase, but nothing has changed. How about using the power of a PM and creating legislation for salary increases across the board?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Punish first-section companies that refuse. Restrict their eligibility for procurement and cut back their subsidies. My Korean work colleague tells me her government takes such actions.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The problem is that companies aren't stupid and tend to take a longer term view when it comes to things like wages and capital investment. Abe's economic policies are basically just fiscal, lowering the value of the Yen and buying up securities to prop up the TSX. These have resulted in short term windfalls for some big companies and investors, but they clearly recognize how unsustainable these policies are and how little they do to actually promote economic growth long term, so they are not using that money to make long term commitments to higher wages or anything like that which might benefit society at large.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How about using the power of a PM and creating legislation for salary increases across the board? since big business is in the pockets of most of the government this may be easier said than done, raising the minimum wage will just make more unprofitable companies fold (which can be a good thing) but lose all those jobs attached to them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm going to show this to my boss.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If folks are not earning enough to spend and therefore give the economy a boost. They are not being paid enough.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Abe urges higher wages

The oral flatulence continues.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Can you imagine a western leader going on record as trying to tell the private sector to increase how much they pay staff, otherwise his economic policy won't make any sense? He'd be - quite rightly - ridiculed.

What a dolt this man is.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

When will this guy understand - business as usual is over. Economies cannot grow forever or be propped up forever with ill conceived short-sighted government "stimulus" spending. With falling population, Japan should take the opportunity of developing policies that focus on genuine quality of life and a steady state economy: not perpetual blind consumption-led growth for growth's sake.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Businesses don't really even give muted support. We are now supposed to believe that no businesses ever raised wages until the supreme leader started urging them to. Demographic changes and labour shortages should start to force businesses to increase wages if the hoards of part-time workers see better choices elsewhere, but this is down to demographics and basic supply/demand theory. If all your workers start leaving, you need to improve conditions, but if you are a domestic company screwed all over by Abe and you have no money, you can't improve conditions. The PM screws up your business by increasing your import costs, favouring exporters and taking money away from your customers and clients domestically, then urges you to try going bust through wage increases so that he can further screw up your business with more of the same. Abe was hopeless in 2007 and even worse now. What a terrible shame for this country that there is no opposition to such a hopeless government.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Businesses do what they must to attract people to meet product or service demand. You can't create demand, it's either there or it isn't.

Central planning targets don't work and they know it. All of this is such a cruel facade to keep the naive masses hoodwinked.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abe and Kuroda just don't learn. You don't give the companies HUGE tax breaks and other benefits and THEN ask them meekly if they might not increase wages, you demand they do so BEFORE you give them the rewards! Kuroda says, "Fortune favors the bold", but the government has given them fortune first, and in turn they spat on the rest.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Getting a little tired of seeing 'Abe' and 'urges' in the same sentence. We know how well that's worked for the public so far (ie. not very).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Only big corporations here in Japan are getting advantages from Abe, all the other average and small companies are also struggles by the current economy directed by the LDP, in a nutshell Abe is asking corporations to do his work, first reduce your spending, then lower consumption tax, give the yen a good value and eventually people will start to live and buy again...not the opposite.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tax greedy corporations into the poor house if they refuse to raise wages. A lot of them are barely paying a living wage as it is. Take away the tax exemption they enjoy on dividends received from foreign subsidiaries.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Corporations and the jobs they create are a part of capitalism, not socialism. Companies hike wages when they need to in order to retain their valuable staff. When they aren't, it indicates there is a problem elsewhere that needs to be addressed by the government.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People with salaried jobs earn reasonably well in Japan. The real problem are those people who have to work on a minimum wage which is about the lowest in the OECD countries recently surveyed. Japanese minimum wage needs to be at least 1,200 yen per hour or better to be close in line with other countries that have a good welfare system, free public hospitals, pensions funded from the tax take and food prices half or better than Japanese prices.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Japanese minimum wage needs to be at least 1,200 yen per hour"

What! That's going to increase the price of my onigiri...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Before or after tax? Please send

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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