Kishida calls for wage hikes exceeding inflation

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at a press conference in Ise, Mie Prefecture, on Wednesday.

ISE, Mie (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday asked companies to implement wage hikes exceeding the rate of inflation, ahead of this spring’s shunto labor-management negotiations.

“Investments in human resources through wage hikes will be the main driving force shaping the future of this country,” Kishida said at his New Year’s press conference, held in Ise, Mie Prefecture, after visiting Ise Jingu, a major Shinto shrine in the city, earlier in the day.

Kishida emphasized that his government will work to promote wage hikes and investments, in order to create the foundations for strong economic growth with limited wealth disparities.

Following criticism about a lack of effort to correct such disparities in his “new capitalism” initiative, Kishida emphasized that he will work on wealth distribution.

He also indicated that his government will advance reform of the employment market through support measures for job retraining, a job description-based pay system tailored to Japanese society, and smooth transfers of labor to growth areas.

Kishida announced that his government would introduce an “unprecedented” set of measures to tackle Japan’s declining birthrate.