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Some businesses are experiencing a labor shortage, so increasing the minimum wage will probably provide more merits than demerits to Japan.

12 Comments

Hisashi Yamada, chief economist at the Japan Research Institute in Tokyo. Currently, Japan's minimum hourly wage of 780 yen is about enough to buy a bowl of noodles. (Bloomberg)

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The average Japanese worker makes about HALF of what their counterpart does in Canada and Australia. Deflation and a low birthrate are a direct consequence of crap wages.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Illogical quote of the day.

If businesses have a labour shortage, they will pay more out of necessity.

For other businesses that do not have a labour shortage, forcing them to pay more would reduce their incentive to keep that labour employed. This will lead to them laying off workers, increasing the pool of unemployed labour, which reduces the labour shortages that would otherwise encourage business to raise wages.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan’s minimum hourly wage of 780 yen

Japan doesn't have a national minimum wage. It depends on each prefecture. Get your facts straight, JT.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is rubbish. It is essentially the system that keep people down while providing a select few with opportunities. Success is a matter of luck. Every job I've had was academic or connected to teaching

A broader work experience would have been good for you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When minimum wage earners complain that they can't raise a family on their wages, the fault usually lies with their poor choices or behavior that has stunted their earning potential.

This is rubbish. It is essentially the system that keep people down while providing a select few with opportunities. Success is a matter of luck. Every job I've had was academic or connected to teaching. I attribute my success largely to luck, with connections and my brain playing secondary roles. Without the luck I could have been an underpaid and insecure adjunct, one of the pool of highly educated and exploited people who make up 76% of the American professoriate. These are bright and motivated people, mind. , Minimum wage in Japan is a joke. Consider what a low minimum has on keeping down wages as a whole. The joke is turning against the system. Workers are not having children. That means companies will have to compete for workers. And that is a good thing.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

My first real job when I turned 16 paid minimum wage. After a short stint there working as hard as I could, I applied for a higher paying job and have consistently earned more money with each job since then. That is the way it is supposed to work. When minimum wage earners complain that they can't raise a family on their wages, the fault usually lies with their poor choices or behavior that has stunted their earning potential.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The only reason people don't see the negative consequences of a price floor on labor is because it's so low that it's usually irrelevant.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's not sci-fi-ish at all: we are already seeing it happen. Hell, even factories in China are replacing workers with robots both to cut costs and improve product quality.

Our civilization's economic model is predicated on people providing useful labor in exchange for the assets to purchase food and shelter. Even retraining will be insufficient: some people just don't have the mental faculties to be much more than janitors or shop clerks. All of those providers of unskilled labor will increasingly find themselves fighting for survival in the future because their potential productivity is essentially worthless (due to the comparative cost-efficiency of robots and advanced software/AI).

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It may sound sci-fi-ish, but robots and improvements in digital technology will most likely result in fewer jobs for many in the workforce who for whatever reason lack the skills (or connections) needed to have meaningful employment. A growing precariat class is a possible consequence and has to be a concern. Or at least should be. It seems that more training programs are needed to prepare workers for the digital era.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I rarely saw anywhere in Tokyo advertising part time jobs at this rate, 1000 yen seemed to be the lowest on offer there, but in the regions it seemed to be very different.

Increasing the minimum wage is a necessary step in the revitalisation of Japan's regions.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

780 is ridiculous. The Minimum wage should be more like 1500-2000 yen. It's impossible to live on 780. Not everyone has a family to live with. This is a poverty wage in a country where the poverty rate has been sharply increasing.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Meaning that if the minimum wage is increased, companies will be motivated to find a way to get work done with less workers. We are already seeing jobs cut in America in the cities where the minimum wage has been increased, and also many workers have voluntarily reduced their hours, as the new minimum wage may raise their pay to the level at which they no longer qualify for state assistance.

If there truly is a labor shortage in Japan, wages will rise of their own accord as hirers compete for workers. This has happened in the parts of the midwest in America where workers are also in short supply, they already earn more than the new higher minimum wages paid in Washington and California.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

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