Japanese Labor and Management Unite for Pay Hikes to Beat Deflation

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Japanese Labor and Management Unite for Pay Hikes to Beat Deflation

In a rare display of unity against Japan's prolonged deflation, representatives from Keidanren, Japan's largest corporations, and Rengo, a labor unions' association, met in Tokyo to discuss the annual "shunto" wage negotiations. During the meeting, both sides called for pay hikes that would outpace inflation.

Keidanren Chairman Masakazu Tokura emphasized the importance of exceeding inflation in wage increases, expressing a deep determination to deliver on this goal. Rengo Chairwoman Tomoko Yoshino, on the other hand, stressed the necessity of ensuring that the benefits of wage hikes reach all workers, irrespective of the size of their companies. She emphasized that this was crucial for a successful transition to an economy with stable growth in wages and prices.

Rengo has set a target of a pay hike of 5% or more for its member unions this year, exceeding the "about 5%" demand made in the previous year. Keidanren responded positively to the labor unions' call for pay hikes and urged big businesses to support smaller companies' efforts to raise wages.

Many labor unions are expected to present their demands for pay raises in February, with most large companies likely to respond in mid-March.