Gov't plans to raise minimum wage to revive economy

By Takashi Umekawa and Stanley White

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What took so long!? Japan has one of the lowest minimum wages in the developed world (about $6.30 - ranked 16th) how does anybody live on that!?

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Three percent is not enough, but at least it is a start.

A twenty percent rise would actually make a difference.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The national average of Japan’s minimum wage was at 780 yen per hour

Notice the term "national average", That is over 100 yen per hour higher than Okinawa. Tokyo's "average" skews the total national average. I would love to see the total with first taking Tokyo out of the equation.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Most stores are offering 1000 yen per hour here in Shinjuku, and there are still only 2 cashiers at the registers out of 7 registers at the supermarket, with long lines. That is still not enough to pay for rent in this area, so they can't get people. It is too expensive to pay all the transportation costs to bring people in. All the cheap housing was wiped out during the bubble.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

To revive the economy requires forward looking policies which Japan'' inept politicians are wholly incapable of producing.....

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Meanwhile, the conglomerate empires keep raking in the profits

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Like the old Victorian proverb, governments should be seen but not heard.

They should be kept completely OFF financial lines.

They have NO experience in business and have no idea how finance works in the real world.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I was so hopeful when I read the title of this article. At last! They are finally legislating a fair wage for all employees.

Wait a sec? 3%? You mean, not even keeping up with the increase in daily goods prices due to the gutted yen? Great. So the late-shift guy at Don-Quixote on premium part-time wages now makes 1030 yen an hour instead of 1000 yen an hour. And he's still making less than a few years ago thanks to Abe.

Note that this would work out to about ¥49,000 a year for a person on the current minimum wage working 5, 8-hour days a week, every week of the year. Which is about what he'll spend to cover the extra cost of cup noodles -- prices recently raised -- he'll be eating twice a day for that year.

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The Japanese government plans to raise the minimum wage and introduce other steps to revitalise the economy, but the draft of stimulus measures seen by Reuters on Monday appeared to break no new ground on reforms that analysts say are needed to end decades of stagnation.

Just rearranging the deck chairs at this point. The horse left the barn several years ago on Japan's economy:

However, some economists remained skeptical of the plans because they do not do enough to address Japan’s rigid labour market and low worker productivity.

The LDP and the press in Japan have done the country a disservice by simply not focusing on the long-term, and just putting a rosy picture on everything. Japan needed to bite the bullet a long time ago and do some painful things. But by simply printing money to prop up a broken model, the government helped them avoid it. And the press played along.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The minimum wage has been rising for the past few years, but Japan’s rates are only slightly above the average for OECD members, and labor unions have argued for bigger increases. Japanese minimum wage should be around minimum of yen 1,200 or more.


The Japanese minimum wage is about second lowest out of OECD countries surveyed. Politicians must be dumb. A good minimum wage would be beneficial to the tax take and some increase in prices would not really hurt wage earners much. Japanese minimum wage should be around minimum of yen 1,200 or more That would be around the same as New Zealand except NZ does not have additional sales taxes or pension payments . I always bring up New Zealand so as to show how a far smaller country than Japan can look after it's people.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The best way to increase wages and consumption, more marriages, an increased birthrate, etc. is to create a labor market that permits lateral hiring. Japanese employees need to move around between jobs. Make Japanese employers compete with one another to attract and retain the best workers. The competition will force them to offer higher wages. Under the current system, companies have no incentive to offer higher salaries because they know the employees can't leave. They have nowhere else to go.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Wow! 3%?? SLOW DOWN.

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3% , need to know maths that increasing a low number that way is not the same than increasing everything else same way. For ret:ards. Problem is "sheepness", part time employees are happy to give in as much as full time. They deserve that low wage if they never complain. In the meantime, company owners are getting richer and richer....ask yourself who they are.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How exactly is this going to work to achieve the desired outcome?

Will businesses hike their prices on consumers, in order to pay for the higher minimum wages?

Will businesses cut back on staff?

Or will businesses just suck it up and let their shareholders bear the cost? And if so will the shareholders just suck it up and not risk their money in more attractive investments?

I can't see how this is going to boost consumption.

The best way for people to get higher wages is for them to up-skill, and become able to produce more with their labour, then get a better job.

“This sounds like short-term stimulus, but Japan needs structural reforms more than stimulus measures,” said Marcel Thieliant

I agree with Thieliant on this.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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